American Graduate Champion: Dorothy Salas

FEATURED_Champion2

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.

dorothy-salasToday’s Champion is Dorothy Salas. When Salas began at Anderson High School, the school’s drop-out rate was close to 5%. As the Dropout Prevention Specialist, she has helped lower that number to .3% last year. She works with students, parents and businesses to help provide the resources students need to stay in school. She runs a Saturday program for parents and students to illustrate the importance of attendance in school and the positive outcomes for those students who complete their high school education. These sessions are always well attended and parents often site her help as the thing which helped them guide their child back to school. This year she has also worked with Anderson High’s new refugee population to identify community agencies which can support families new to our neighborhood and new to the country. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Dorothy is caring and honest. Students appreciate her genuine answers because they know that she does not try to “sugar coat” issues which impact their success. She tells it “like it is” and helps students to make good decisions about continuing their education. Dorothy is a very special person – Anderson High School is a better place because of her and our students are definitely in a better place because of her tenacity and drive for their best interest!”

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.

 

American Graduate Champion: Sarah Simmons

FEATURED_Champion2

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.

sarah-simmonsToday’s Champion is Sarah Simmons. Simmons is the College & Career Advisor at Akins High School. Akins school has about 2700 students – mostly low-socioeconomic with many being the first in their family to have an opportunity to attend college. Simmons works to not only show students the path, but also secure financial aide and scholarships. Over the last few years, the school has gone from having its senior class secure a few thousand dollars in financial aide, to millions. It is her goal each year to make sure every senior leaves with a secure post-secondary plan. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Sarah truly shows our students that education is the great equalizer, and that it’s a possibility for all.”

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.

 

American Graduate Champion: Linda Medina-Lopez

FEATURED_Champion2

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.

linda-medina-lopezToday’s Champion is Linda Medina-Lopez.  Medina-Lopez currently serves as the Community Engagement Coordinator in the Department of Communications and Community Engagement at Austin ISD and is on the SXSWedu Advisory Board and the Bertha Sadler Means Young Women’s Leadership Academy Campus Advisory Council. In her role at AISD, she serves as a liaison to key constituents, district bodies and community groups and assists in ongoing relationship management with parents and community members and key stakeholders to better serve our schools. She is also the founder of the Young Hispanic Professional Association of Austin (YHPAA), an organization that provides leadership and professional development opportunities for young Latino professionals to empower and connect with the Greater Austin community. YHPAA supports and encourages higher education through college scholarships and mentorship programs while providing resources to members for professional, community, and personal development. Since 2007 YHPAA has awarded 2,000 scholarships to Austin area students. A proud El Pasoan, Linda also co-founded the El Paso Social Network of Austin in 2007 which established a fund with the Austin Community Foundation to provide scholarships for students from El Paso studying in the Austin area. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Linda continues to motivate and inspires others to strengthen our education pipeline and mentor our next generation of leaders!”

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.

 

American Graduate Champion: China Smith

FEATURED_Champion2

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.

china-smithToday’s Champion is China Smith.  As a mother, teacher, and dancer, China Smith is on a quest to spread awareness about the mixed nature and diversity of the African diaspora through contemporary dance. Her company, Ballet Afrique, employs a synthesis of ballet and modern blended with Afrocentric undertones to articulate the human condition and spirit through the unbounded art form of dance. She empowers and encourages High School teens in her classes to gain a college education while also being true to their dance career.  The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “She cares very much about young African Americans and envisions a bright future for them whether it be dance or their own passions.”

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.

 

Q Night at the Movies March 28

KLRU Q - Night at the Movies

Variety Studio – Actors On Actors at 6:30 pm
The actors responsible for the most exciting performances of the year talk about their work-and more. Featuring Reese Witherspoon “Wild” and Michael Keaton “Birdman”, Keira Knightley “The Imitation Game” and Ethan Hawke “Boyhood”, David Oyelowo “Selma” and Jack O’Connell “Unbroken”, Jenny Slate “Obvious Child” and Felicity Jones “The Theory of Everything”.

On Story at 7:30 pm
The writers of re-imagined classics and popular franchises such as GHOST, CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, TWINS and SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN deliberate how to keep stories fresh while remaining faithful to the original version. Accompanied by Spencer and Lloyd Harvey’s short film JACK & JILL, a fresh take on the classic nursery rhyme.

Feature Film: Mutiny on the Bounty at 8 pm
First mate Mr. Christian (Clark Gable) and his 18th-century shipmates overthrow cruel Capt. Bligh (Charles Laughton) and set him adrift in the Pacific.

Ain’t It Cool with Harry Knowles at 10:15 pm
Revered Writer/Director Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire/127 Hours/Trainspotting and Harry discuss auteurs. The theory that some filmmakers have so much personal influence and artistic control over a movie that they become regarded as the author of the movie is also explored as Harry chats with “Boiler” about the late William Wyler’s films.

Film School Shorts at 10:45 pm
The Genius From Quintino (Columbia) and Kiss Me (UCLA): Ricardo, a mechanic nicknamed ‘the genius’, lives in Quintino, just north of Rio de Janeiro. When a mysterious young boy shows up at his garage with a broken toy, Ricardo is suddenly faced with his forgotten past. Written and directed by Johnny Ma. Boxer Kid Vargas is forced to face up to a devastating truth after he kills his opponent, Johnny Vasquez, in the ring. Consumed by the guilt of killing, Kid’s shame is intensified by his repressed homosexuality. Written and directed by Jules Nurrish.

Highlights March 29 to April 4

KLRU Highlights

A new season of Call the Midwife starts this week! Nurse Barbara Gilbert arrives at Nonnatus and, after a disastrous start, earns the respect of her colleagues by helping a new mother overcome difficulties on Call the Midwife at 7 pm Sunday.

The third season of the popular series, which stars Jeremy Piven as the flamboyant American entrepreneur who founded the famous Selfridge’s department store, picks up the story in 1919 on Masterpiece Theater at 8 pm Sunday.

Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, a three-part film, tells the comprehensive story of cancer, from its first description in an ancient Egyptian scroll to the gleaming laboratories of modern research institutions. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 pm.

Mosaic: The Deep Eddy Mural at 10:30 pm Monday takes us on a journey from inception through dedication and all the effort and love it took to make it happen in between.

Witness groundbreaking fetal surgery in this miniseries that takes an intimate, inside look at the Special Delivery Unit at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where rare surgeries are performed on babies inside the womb part 1 of Twice Born air at 7 pm Tuesday

Alex Gibney, Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, discusses his new film Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief on Overheard with Evan Smith at 7pm Thursday.

Arts In Context at 7:30 pm Thursday profiles Blue Lapis Light, a group that transforms urban environments into works of art specializing in large-scale productions in non-traditional public environments.

RX: The Quiet Revolution at 8 pm Thursday takes cameras across America to focus on the challenges and triumphs in our country’s health care delivery system.

Tony and Grammy Award-winner Billy Porter, star of the Broadway hit Kinky Boots, performs songs from his latest album, Billy’s Back on Broadway, and other favorites on Live from Lincoln Center at 8 pm Friday.

Great Performances at 9 pm Friday presents Annie Lennox performing songs from her album Nostalgia.

Get the secret to growing finicky lavender, plus tips on indoor aromatherapy on Central Texas Gardener at noon Saturday. On tour, a drought defiant garden turned blank land into sensational outdoor living.

Singer/songwriters Ed Sheeran and Valerie June perform on Austin City Limits at 7 pm Saturday. Sheeran lights up hits “Sing!” and “A-Team,” while June burns through material from her acclaimed LP Pushin’ Against a Stone.

American Graduate Champion: Sevylla del Mazo

FEATURED_Champion2

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.

sevylla-del-mazoToday’s Champion is Sevylla del Mazo. As a music teacher at Roots & Rhythms program, del Mazo teaches students to embrace their own cultures. Roots & Rhythms is an after-school drumming program founded in 2008 by del Mazo. With drums created from recycled buckets, the bilingual students of Roots & Rhythms collaborate, create, and have some fun while learning the basics of percussion. Thanks to a grant from the City of Austin’s Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division, this program continues to foster ties in surrounding communities and inspires hope for local children. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Her love and inspiration is contagious. Sevylla del Mazo has found that the most important thing she can do as an educator is to teach her students the love of learning. This is exactly what she does at Roots & Rhythms after-school program. She inspires hope for these bilingual students and strives to show them that what makes them different, also makes them unique, special, and worthy of a bright future.”

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.

 

Science Night 4/1

science-night

Science Night for April 1st features NASA’s Kepler mission and the conclusion of Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.

Nova Alien Planets Revealed at 7 pm 
It’s a golden age for planet hunters: NASA’s Kepler mission has identified more than 3,500 potential planets orbiting stars beyond our sun. Some of them, like a planet called Kepler-22b, might even be able to harbor life. How did we come upon this distant planet? Combining animation with input from expert astrophysicists and astrobiologists, “Alien Planets Revealed” takes viewers on a journey along with the Kepler telescope. How does the telescope look for planets? How many of these planets are like our Earth? Will any of these planets be suitable for life as we know it? Bringing the creative power of veteran animators together with the latest discoveries in planet-hunting, this film shows the successes of the Kepler mission, taking us to planets beyond our solar system and providing a glimpse of creatures we might one day encounter.

 

Cancer: The Emperor Of All Maladies at 8 pm Episode 3 of 3: Finding The Achilles Heel
This episode starts at a moment of optimism: Scientists believe they have cracked the mystery of the malignant cell, and the first targeted therapies have been developed. But very quickly cancer reveals new layers of complexity and a formidable array of defenses. Many call for a new focus on prevention and early detection as the most promising fronts in the war on cancer. By the second decade of the 2000s, the bewildering complexity of the cancer cell yields to a more ordered picture, revealing new vulnerabilities and avenues of attack. Perhaps most exciting is the prospect of harnessing the human immune system to defeat cancer. A 60-year-old NASCAR mechanic with melanoma and a six-year-old with leukemia are pioneers in new immunotherapy treatments, which the documentary follows as their stories unfold.

American Graduate Champion: The Communities In Schools XY Zone Program

FEATURED_Champion2

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.

communities-in-schoolsToday’s Champion is The Communities In Schools XY Zone Program. This program is a leadership development and peer support program that develops productive life skills to help students succeed in school and achieve in life. XY-Zone Coordinators engage approximately 400 young men per year in activities focused on the Five R’s – Respect, Responsibility, Relationships, Role Modeling and Reaching Out on ten high school campuses: Travis, Crockett, LBJ, Lehman, Lanier, Reagan, Manor, Del Valle, Hays, and Eastside Memorial. The effectiveness of the XY-Zone Program achieved national attention when featured in Leonard Pitts’ syndicated column as part of his “What Works” series. Pitts’ column was followed by stories on NPR’s Talk of the Nation and KUT’s In Black America. Communities In Schools of Central Texas was recognized as an organization that demonstrates a substantive commitment to access and equity for young men of color, and have played a critical role in improving the lives and educational experience for the students Communities In Schools serves. XY-Zone participants demonstrate improvements in grades, attendance or behavior; they decrease risky behaviors, increase volunteerism, leadership, and future aspirations, and they are challenged and empowered to aim high, get an education, and break the cycle of poverty. Outcomes: 90% of case managed students show improvement or maintain grades, attendance and/or behavior, 97% of case managed students remain in school, 92% of case managed students are promoted or graduate, participants are significantly more likely to report improved school/community involvement after engaging in XY-Zone activities. 400 case managed students are served each year and an additional 300 students receive short-term or crisis support. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “When you talk to students after participating in the program, they tell you how far they have come and how they couldn’t have made it through high school without the Communities In Schools XY Zone program. The XY Zone Coordinators who work with theses students are working directly on high school campuses providing direct service to students. These coordinators serve as role models and they give the young men in the XY Zone program a belief in themselves and help inspire them to dream big, work hard, and to achieve success after high school graduation.”

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.

 

American Graduate Champion: John Armbrust

FEATURED_Champion2

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.

john-armbrustToday’s Champion is John Armbrust. Armbrust is founder and Executive Director of Austin Achieve Public Schools, a new school in East Austin that serves some of the most at-risk students.The mission of Austin Achieve is college-readiness for all of students. The school currently serves over 400 students in 6-8th grade. The recognition letter submitted by the community said:  ”Many families, community members, and even city leaders are unaware of the disparity between public schools in our city. The more we can tell our story, the more we can work with community partners to change the tide of educational quality in East Austin. John has built a small but dedicated group of leaders in the business community, and has grown the school to already reach hundreds of families in northeast Austin.”

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.