American Graduate Champion: Rodolfo Mendez

KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

rodolfo-mendezToday’s Champion is Rodolfo Mendez! Rodolfo, or Rudy, is a community leader and mentor in Austin. He has taught folkloric dance and modern ballet to thousands of kids who wouldn’t normally have this experience helping them improve their self-esteem, grades and goal setting. His achievements include founding Ballet East Dance Company in 1978, dancing with the national companies of Costa Rica and Chile through the Peace Corps and being inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame.

Laura Donnelly, co-founder of Latinitas magazine, says, “Rudy was born and raised on the east side of Austin and built his resume from the ground up. He brought his success as a dancer outside of Austin back to his neighborhood of origin – connecting young Latinos with the arts and in turn – helping them feel good about themselves.”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.