American Graduate Champion: Dr. Eva Garza-Nyer

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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.

eva-garza-nyerToday’s Champion is Dr. Eva Garza-Nyer! Eva is a college counselor in the Austin Independent School District. She has served over 6,500 seniors since 2002. And although she has worked in large comprehensive high schools, she makes every effort to meet each student individually before they cross the graduation stage.

One of Eva’s former students, Adrian Zamora, says, “During high school, Dr. Garza was insistent on having me apply to universities and scholarships that I would never have applied to on my own. She challenged me to think outside the box and was not afraid to tell me if she thought I was taking the easy way out—something that I am appreciative of to this day. Without her direction and invested interest in my future, I would not be where I am today.”

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: Project MALES

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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.

project-malesToday’s Champion is Project MALES! Project MALES is a research-based mentoring program housed in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement over at The University of Texas at Austin that works specifically with males of color directly through Austin ISD.

Their nominator, Jorge Segovia, says, “Project MALES is a champion due to the awareness they’re trying to raise on the issue of male educational attainment. Based on the research conducted, males are more likely than females to drop out of high school. Males are also less likely than females to continue on with their education. This year, Project MALES has partnered directly through Austin ISD, also becoming a part of the “My Brother’s Keeper” Initiative through Austin ISD.”

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: Doni Whitlow

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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.

doni-whitlowToday’s Champion is Doni Whitlow! Doni is a mother in Richmond, Texas. She has helped her son develop into the player that he has become, on and off the field.

Her son, Markail Caron, says, “Single mothers are some of the strongest people in the world and can even be heroes.”

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: Glenell Bankhead

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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.

glenell-bankheadToday’s Champion is Glenell Bankhead! Glenell is the principal of Neidig Elementary School in Elgin. She motivates the kids to be leaders and to strive for greatness, and she cares for every student in the school, showing love and support for each and every one of them.

Her nominator, Sara Perez, says, “You can see the energy she brings into each project she gives, transferring it to the students. She gives many opportunities for the kids to learn and engage in new ideas and skills.”

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: JP Rodriguez

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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.

jp-rodriguezToday’s Champion is JP Rodriguez! JP has been a volunteer for Communities in Schools in Austin for 19 years. He dedicates one hour a week to meet one-on-one with students to help them succeed in school, graduate from high school and go on to achieve in life.

His nominator, Debra Joiner, says, ”JP’s service exemplifies the Communities In School’s model of bringing the community into the school to surround students with support. As a mentor, JP doesn’t preach to the kids because, he believes, ‘it doesn’t take many words’ to impart his core message: ‘I want to be your friend, and I’m here because I want you to understand that education is important.’”

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: Dr. Sterling Lands II

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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.

sterling-landsToday’s Champion is Dr. Sterling Lands II! Sterling is an archbishop, teacher, motivator and role model. He spreads the Word of God and teaches others about improving our modern society.

His nominator, Reginald Shawn Terrell, Jr., says, “This man has made a significant difference in his daily life. Ever since he founded the Greater Calvary Bible Church, he created a change for many African American families and communities. He even obtained numerous awards from many people such as the mayor of Austin, AISD, and many others. To this day, he is changing the world for how it is to benefit society.”

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: Maria Martin Del Campo

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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.

maria-campoToday’s Champion is Maria Martin Del Campo! Maria is a Spanish teacher at LBJ Early College High School. She works hard with her students every day to ensure their success.

Cesar Alonso, a student at LBJ High School, says, “She motivates us even in the small things she does. For example, by just asking us how our day is going.”

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: Sugar Ray Destin, Jr.

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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.

ray-destinToday’s Champion is Sugar Ray Destin, Jr.! Sugar Ray is a motivational speaker and co-founder of the Claim your Destiny Foundation, which offers leadership, tutoring and mentoring programs. He is a huge advocate for the youth and teaching them how to develop into young leaders while giving back to the community.

Sugar Ray speaks at schools, after school programs and conferences and hosts a leadership program for youth, and his foundation is working with local school districts and colleges to plan its first Youth College Prep Conference.

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: Constable Maria Canchola

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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.

constable-maria-cancholaToday’s Champion is Constable Maria Canchola! Maria is a community leader and mentor in Austin. She developed a mentor group for at-risk Hispanic students, and she continues to get involved in preventing truancy and students dropping out of school, while assisting the community and advocating for children and their families.

Maria’s nominator, Rosalinda R. Villarreal, says, “Maria continues to empower our families by inviting guest speakers to the group, who motivate and emphasize success for their children and themselves. Our parents have gained the confidence they need to actively participate in their child’s/teen’s education. Among the great successes of this group, parents have become more self-sufficient, positive 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: Rodolfo Mendez

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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.