Pathways to Success

The road to success is paved differently for everyone but thankfully, Central Texas offers many different pathways and supports toward high school graduation and beyond.

Local programs that work directly with educators, families and youth to support youth, strengthen families, and improve schools: 

  • busAfrican American Youth Harvest Foundation offers programs and scholarships for African American youth and support for their families (K-12)
  • AchieveTexas – from the Texas Education Agency, guidance for 16 different career pathways (HS)
  • Austin Justice Coalition offers Saturday Schools for HS-age African-American Youth
  • Austin Voices for Education & Youth building community, family and youth leaders in schools, providing families additional supports to keep kids in school and healthy (MS/HS)
  • AVANCE – Austin  training and support for Spanish-speaking families with young child (ages 2-4)
  • AVID prepares students for college starting in their MS/HS courses
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas connects youth with adult mentors and supports the pairs in their experiences (ES/MS/HS)
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of the Austin Area offers affordable/free after-school and summer programs that focus on academic success, physical health, developing community, and providing service to others (ES/MS/HS)
  • Breakthrough Austin finds youth in 6th grade and supports them through entrance into college (MS/HS)
  • CARY helping youth who have problems with discipline/attendance get back on track (MS/HS)
  • Changing Expectations supports schools, parents, and youth with programs and information about Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) programs (K-12)
  • Claim Your Destiny  – workshop series for youth to develop their leadership skills and college readiness (HS)
  • College Forward pairs HS students with young adults who can support them through one year of college-ready study
  • Communities in Schools of Central Texas supporting youth and their families in low-income communities and schools (PreK-12)
  • Con Mi Madre uses the power of the Latina mother-daughter bond to help see girls through HS and college graduation (6th grade – college)
  • Creative Action supporting academic learning through arts, creativity and socioemotional programs in schools, in after-school programs, and in community events (PreK-12)
  • E3 Alliance RAISEup Texas – Helping middle schools in Central Texas advance student learning for all, but especially for students who struggle to learn key skills. (MS)
  • Financial Aid Saturdays offered by the Austin Chamber of Commerce help HS seniors and their families complete the necessary paperwork for financial assistance from the government and/or the colleges they hope to attend.
  • Foundation Communities affordable housing communities with afterschool programs and additional supports (PreK-12)
  • ICUSP (Institute for Community, University and School Partnerships) offers mentoring programs for youth of color (MS/HS)
  • Latinitas helps Latina girls and teens to develop their voices in journalism, media production, and life through after-school and summer programs (ages 11 and up)
  • MindPop helping schools use creative teaching and learning as a way to build student success (PreK-12)
  • Muslim Youth of North America – Austin Chapter Young Muslim adults supporting Muslim teens as they navigate school and society (HS) 
  • No Place for Hate curriculum and support for schools to improve student harmony and decrease prejudice and bullying (PreK-HS)
  • 100 Black Men of Austin mentors African-American young men and offers workshops and additional resources for the whole family (MS/HS)
  • Project Males of the UT Division of Diversity and Community Engagement is a mentoring program for Latino males and males of color that uses its research to improve graduation rates for males of color for both high school and college (PK-college)
  • Skillpoint Alliance – STEM Innovation Camps for youth ages 3-14, and Velocity Prep Summer Programs that offer HS youth the chance to solve community problems using cutting-edge technology and smart strategies. (PreK-12)
  • University Leadership Initiative is led by undocumented students at local colleges and universities. They share current information with undocumented high school students about their post-graduation options and how to prepare for college life. (HS)
  • Upward Bound at Texas State University works with local HS students from low-income and first generation HS families to develop their skills and confidence to succeed in college
  • YMCA offers free and low-cost programs for kids and families ages 2 and up, including preschool readiness, after-school care through 5th grade, and programs for teens. Contact your local YMCA to see what programs they offer (ages 2-adult).

Alternative pathways to a high school diploma:ExcelCenterGrad



Programs with a focus on health and well-being for youth and their families:

  • BRAIN DRAIN for webCaritas fights poverty, hunger, and homelessness
  • Foundation Communities offers affordable housing and additional family services
  • Life Works assists families and individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, abuse, and family conflict
  • The Settlement Home provides housing and support to youth removed from their families
  • Urban Roots uses food and farming to help youth inspire, engage, and nourish their communities
  • Ventanilla de Salud offers health education, free health screenings, and referrals to community health services in partnership with the Consulate General of Mexico in Austin.

Other National Programs and Resources

Boys & Girls Club East

  • Better Make Room a text-message based program that helps HS youth get ready for college
  • Big Future college preparation for undocumented students (HS)
  • Jack Kent Cooke Foundation college connections and funding for highly gifted HS youth
  • No Place for Hate curriculum and support for schools to improve harmony and decrease prejudice (PreK-12)
  • Phoenix House individualized, holistic drug and alcohol addiction treatment

Watch videos about students on the path to success.

For more information about programs for youth in Central Texas, search the Youth Services Mapping database.

August 2016 Family Choice: Watch with the Whole Family!

KLRU chooses programs each month for your family to enjoy and view together.
For August 2016, we have the following lined up:

Tuesday, August 2 at 8:00 pm: The Boys of ’36: American Experience
In 1936, nine working-class boys from the University of Washington took the rowing world and the nation by storm, when their eight-oar crew team captured the gold medal at the Olympics in Berlin. These sons of loggers, shipyard workers and farmers overcame tremendous hardships — psychological, physical, economic — to beat not only the Ivy League teams of the East Coast, but Adolf Hitler’s elite German rowers.

Wednesday, August 3 at 7:00 pm: Koko—The Gorilla That Talks
This film tells the story of Koko, the only “talking” gorilla in the world, and her lifelong relationship with Penny Patterson. The experiment started as a PhD project to teach sign language to a baby gorilla, but as Koko began to communicate, an intense bond developed between her and Patterson. The film explores what we can really learn from this extraordinary science experiment turned love affair. Does it tell us more about animals’ emotions or our own?

Monday, August 22 at 8:00 pm: Mister Rogers & Me 
While at his Nantucket home after his retirement from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred Rogers had a chance meeting with Benjamin Wagner, his next-door neighbor and an up-and-coming producer for MTV. The encounter, especially Rogers’ advice to spread the message that “deep and simple is far more essential than complex,” stuck with Wagner. After Rogers’ death in 2003, Wagner and his brother traveled around the country to discover more about the television icon and what he meant by “deep and simple.”

July 2016 Family Choice: Programs to Watch with the Whole Family!

KLRU chooses programs each month for your family to enjoy and view together.
For July 2016, we have the following lined up:

Monday, July 4, at 7:00 pm & 8:30 pm: A Capitol Fourth
Join the festivities for America’s national Independence Day. The celebration of our country’s 240th birthday airs live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol before an audience of hundreds of thousands and millions at home.

PBS NewsHour Convention Coverage
Veteran journalists Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff anchor complete live coverage of the Republican and Democratic national political conventions, from the opening gavel to its official close. Between speeches and events on the convention floor, Ifill and Woodruff interview political newsmakers and solicit analysis and perspective from NEWSHOUR regulars Shields and Brooks, presidential historians and others.

  • Republican– Monday, July 18 – Thursday, July 21, 7:00-10:00 pm
    (overrun always possible)
  • Democratic– Monday, July 25 – Thursday, July 28, 7:00-10:00 pm
    (overrun always possible)

Explore the Outdoors Green Carnival

KLRU and Mary Jane Sims Early College School worked together this spring to hold their first Green Spring Carnival held on April 16th. The school was recommended to KLRU by Keep Austin Beautiful and has been the recipient of :

  • KAB Clean Creek Campus 2015-2016
  • National Wildlife Foundation Eco-Schools USA 2015-2016
  • KAB Zero Waste Champs 2014-2015
  • KAB Generation Zero Campus 2014-2015.

Fourth grade bilingual teacher, Mr. Scott Mann and his class have been working and educating, class by class, on recycling/composting/reuse in each classroom in their school wing. They plan to increase their work grade by grade in the upcoming school year.

The Green Spring carnival highlighted the work of Mr. Mann’s class along with educating the school community on recycling, composting, and reuse with ecology-mined hands-on activities, a digital scavenger hunt, and resources from community partners: Austin ISD Sustainability Dept., Keep Austin Beautiful, Sustainable Food Center, Austin Resource and Recovery, Austin Parks and Recreation, Girls Scouts, and Boys & Girls Club as well as volunteers from McCallum High School Key Club. KLRU was on hand to help with resources and showcase PBS Kids science apps for parents and kids. Families enjoyed planting perennials in the school’s courtyard made possible by the non-profit group Envision, Design, Create.

Families visited each area: Technology, Gardening, Reduce/ReUse/Recycle to receive a free tomato, pepper or okra plant as well as carrots and turnips to take home. The Sesame Street Food For Thought kit about eating healthy on a budget was given to each family.

KLRU also worked with Lee Lewis Campbell Elementary’s 2nd annual Green Spring Carnival where they had gardening activities, Sesame Street’s Food for Thought kits and veggie giveaways along with showcasing the PBS Kids science apps and FREE app codes.

If your school is interested in having their own Green Spring Carnival, go to Austin ISD’s Sustainability webpage to get started!


June 2016 Family Choice: Programs to Watch with the Whole Family!

KLRU chooses programs each month for your family to enjoy and view together.
For June 2016, we have the following lined up:

Wednesday, June 8 at 7pm: Skeletons of the Sahara
This film tells the story of scientist Paul Sereno’s amazing discovery of a prehistoric human burial ground in the middle of one of the world’s most forbidding desert. Like many great scientific discoveries, this one happens by accident. Sereno, one of the world’s leading experts in finding fossils of dinosaurs and ancient crocodiles, is on an expedition to Niger, in Saharan Africa.

Wednesday, June 22 at 7:00 pm: Great Polar Bear Feast
Investigate the problems facing a unique population of polar bears due to climate change. At the heart is an extraordinary event – the annual gathering of up to 80 polar bears on Barter Island in the Arctic Ocean each September.

Wednesdays at 8:00 pm (June 29-July 13): 9 Months That Made You
Discover the story of how you were made, from the moment of conception to the moment of birth 280 days later. Follow the gestation process, the most exquisite biological choreography found in nature.

May 2016 Family Choice: Programs to Watch with the Whole Family!

KLRU chooses programs each month for your family to enjoy and view together. For May 2016, we have the following lined up:

Wednesday, May 4 at 7 pm: NATURE “The Last Orangutan Eden”
Ecologist Chris Morgan travels to the jungles of Northern Sumatra to document the work being done to save its population of wild orangutans, which is quickly dwindling due to deforestation. Morgan travels to a peat swamp forest known as Suaq Balimbing.

Tuesday, May 17 at 8:00 pm: Secrets of the Dead “Cleopatra’s Lost Tomb”
Learn about the legendary queen Cleopatra who ruled the Egyptian empire.

Sunday, May 29 at 4:30 pm: National Geographic Bee
The annual National Geographic Bee returns for the 28th year, with award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien serving as host and moderator. State Geographic Bee Winners from across the country compete in the National Geographic Bee.

April 2016 Family Choice: Programs to watch with the whole family!

KLRU chooses three to four programs each month for your family to enjoy and view together. For April 2016, we have the following lined up:

Monday & Tuesday, April 11 & April 12 at 8:00 pm: Jackie Robinson
(both episodes repeat back-to-back on Sunday, April 17 starting at 1 pm)
It’s the premiere of Ken Burns’ JACKIE ROBINSON. By changing the racial equation of our national pastime, Jackie Robinson set out to prove that black Americans could compete as equals. He was greeted with ugly abuse, with shouts and bean balls, and hate mail that threatened his life. But in the end, he would do more to help black Americans stake their claim to justice and equal rights “than Congress itself,” according to one writer of the era. This film looks at not just Robinson’s life in baseball, but at its complex whole.

Wednesday, April 20 at 8:00 pm: NOVA “Wild Ways”
Top predators in ecosystems from North America to Africa share a natural trait: the instinct to roam. But at every turn there are human-made barriers: roads, fences, farms and cities. Species such as lions, elk, grizzly bears, antelope, tigers and elephants, are penned up for their own protection in parks and preserves. “Connectivity conservation,” as it’s called, offers a hopeful new approach to preserving keystone species by linking refuges with tunnels, bridges and protected land corridors.

File your FAFSA or TASFA before March 31st

Still haven’t submitted your Financial Aid?

The due date for Financial Aid is three days away and we are here to help!

What is Financial Aid?

Financial Aid are grants, scholarships and loans that are given to students to help with college expenses. There is more than $185 billion in aid available by federal government, state government, college/universities, and private organizations. This money can help you go to college. To apply for aid start at:

Need in-person help?

Following websites and doing Financial Aid on your own does get tricky and sometimes having an extra set of eyes does give some assurance. Join The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce at Financial Aid Saturdays.They offer FREE help to students. Register at:


Contest: Complete your FAFSA for a Chance to See Michelle Obama

The Austin Chamber, in collaboration with the White House and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative, will offer Central Texas seniors who complete a FAFSA before 5pm on March 14 a chance to see the First Lady on March 16 at SXSW Music for her keynote address! The contest supports FAFSA filing over spring break and in advance of impending March 15th priority deadlines for Texas Grants and other aid. A total of 80 students will win this opportunity, 2 per high school.

Contest Overview: First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative wants every student to take charge of his or her future by pursuing college. The Austin Chamber of Commerce works with 13 Central Texas school districts and public charter schools to prioritize financial aid because we know that students can’t pursue post-secondary education unless they can afford it.

In connection with the First Lady’s visit to SXSW, we are proud to announce a contest for TWO seniors from each participating Central Texas high schools to see the First Lady on March 16.

To be eligible to win, students must:

  • File their FAFSA no later than 5 PM Central Time on Monday, March 14th. If selected, student winners must scan and submit their FAFSA confirmation page to Andrew Feller at
  • Register for contest at:
  • Be currently enrolled in a high school from one of the following school districts or charter schools: Austin ISD, Del Valle ISD, Elgin ISD, Hays CISD, Hutto ISD, Leander ISD, Lockhart ISD, Manor ISD, Pflugerville ISD, Round Rock ISD, KIPP Austin Public Schools, Harmony Public Schools, and NYOS

If at any time you need assistance, regarding rules/conditions of this contest please contact Andy Feller, Director of Education Programs, at or 512-322-5644.

Good luck to all participants!


SXSW Film: AISD American Graduate Champions


Students from various high schools in AISD produced the video above.

KLRU is thrilled to be a part of a collaboration with AISD through our American Graduate work. Seventeen student filmmakers from seventeen AISD high schools tell the stories about the “champions” who have supported, challenged and encouraged them in their academic and personal journeys.

The film captures the richness and diversity of life in AISD high schools and the dedication of the teachers, coaches, families, and community members who inspire students every day. The film will be premiered at the South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse and the student filmmakers will be part of a panel discussion with moderator Hema Mullur from KEYE. We are proud that youth is helping tell the story of American Graduate and the importance of shining light on “champions.”

Do you know an American Graduate Champion? If so, take the time to recognize your champion at:

american graduate champion