American Graduate Champion: Melissa Arasin

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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.

melissa-arasinToday’s Champion is Melissa Arasin. Arasin is a teacher at the International High School, a two-year program for recent immigrants in the Austin ISD. She becomes their motivator, translator, and she helps her kids explore the opportunities open to them in American society.  The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “The International HS does important work but it’s tucked away on the campus of the much better-known Eastside Memorial HS in far East Austin. Melissa would be lauded for her efforts no matter where she taught but the fact that she loves her work and the kids who come to her from around the globe keeps her plugging away.”

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: Ty Davidson

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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.

ty-davidsonToday’s Champion is Ty Davidson. Davidson is the principal at Travis High School. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Ty is warm, generous, compassionate, and most importantly, enthusiastic and possibilities and potential of his students and faculty. He brings a youthful energy and spirit to a job that can be incredibly taxing and at times, demoralizing.”

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: Susan Dawson

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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.

susan-dawsonToday’s Champion is Susan Dawson. Dawson, Executive Director of E3 Alliance, is an advocate of educational excellence and data driven decision making for education system reform. The E3 Alliance has been at the forefront of raising awareness about the dropout crisis, contributing factors, and promising trends. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “The information which E3 presents should be understood by anyone who is trying to positively intervene in the lives of at risk youth.”

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: Deanna Deolloz

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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.

deanna-deollozToday’s Champion is Deanna Deolloz. Deolloz has been a teaching artist for over 15 years working with organizations such as CHULA League, ZACH Theatre, Teatro Vivo, and El Teatro Campesino. Currently her role as Artistic Associate of Creative Action she works at the after-school program at Becker Elementary. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “She is a committed community activist for women’s rights, voter rights, AIDS activist, cycling, children and Latino issues. Austin is extremely lucky to have her in our community. She’s one of the those “behind the scenes” leaders who is absolutely worthy of being recognized as a champion.”

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: Isaac Torres

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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.

isaac-torresToday’s Champion is Isaac Torres.  Torres is the Program Coordinator for Generation Texas in the Center for P-16 Initiatives at Texas State University. Torres works throughout Central Texas by visiting high schools throughout Central Texas which serve predominantly low-income, first generation, and immigrant students to advocate for college access. He is the chair of the Outreach and Communication subcommittee chair of the Austin College Access Network and is spearheading the efforts to launch a “College Signing Day” in Austin. This event focuses on engaging stakeholders throughout Central Texas in support of college access for all students to increase the college enrollment rate to 70%. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “This goal of 70% college enrollment can never be attained through the current and never ceasing efforts of the community of educators and practitioners who live into this mission daily. We can only do this as a community-wide endeavor. GenTX and the efforts of Isaac are pivotal to attaining this goal. Isaac has been a longtime champion for this effort and he continues to lead the community forward toward realizing this goal.”

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: Mary Brinkman

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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.

mary-brinkmanToday’s Champion is Mary Brinkman. Brinkman, Principal at Sci-Tech Preparatory, works with students, parents, teachers and the community for success and to provide a safe-haven for students. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Mrs. Brinkman is always professional and strives for excellence in our school. It is a joy to follow in her example everyday and our student body rises to greatness because of her positive example.”

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: Aisha Wahab

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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.

aisha-wahabToday’s Champion is Aisha Wahab. Wahab is a community organizer and champion of many social issues including work as Executive Director of the United Democratic Campaign, Board member of the Afghan Coalition and Communications Chair of New Leaders Council-Oakland. She has mentored many young women in local high schools, she has educated many service providers on the issues of cultural sensitivity, refugees, immigrants, and on topics such as domestic violence, human trafficking, and civic engagement. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Aisha has always includes others to be a part of a conversation to make a difference. She is a true champion.  She is relentless and always has a positive attitude.”

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: Grant Thomas

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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.

grant-thomasToday’s Champion is Grant Thomas. Thomas is founder of the Peer Assistance and Leadership Program, a life-long educator and an innovator. After years of teaching high school, Thomas established the original PAL program (Peer Assistance and Leadership) in AISD in 1980. The PAL program was a unique model at the time, sharing many aspects of the current Social-Emotional Learning curriculum with a focus on peer modeling, mentoring, service, social understanding and problem-solving. PAL became a widely implemented national model. In 1994 Grant created the nonprofit YouthLaunch, and served there as Executive Director for nine years. He also continues to be active in KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) Austin, and is currently involved in a collaboration between KIPP and UT Austin Plan II to develop mentoring partnerships. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Grant Thomas’s passion for empowering young people is life-long and contagious, as is his high-energy, charismatic personality. This passion, combined with expertise gleaned from years of graduate study in education, experiences as a teacher, community activist, and program innovator, makes Grant an inspired and inspiring difference-maker. His work in the field has helped countless young people build both academic and social success.”

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: Alexus Robinson

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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.

alexus-robinsonToday’s Champion is Alexus Robinson. Robinson, a Student at Eastside Memorial High School, is an active member of her school’s Student Ambassadors program, Choir, Student Council, Velocity Prep Program and Panther Passion Club. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Her commitment to see positive change at her school is infectious to her peers and others. One cannot stand idly by Alexus and not feel the desire to want to make a difference in the world. Champions are defined by their legacy, what they leave behind for others. It is safe to say that she will leave a legacy for all to live and learn by. Our society can only be filled with hope for the future with young champions like Alexus leading the way. Age is irrelevant when the passion to make a difference trumps the status quo.”

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: Maura Masters

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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.

maura-mastersToday’s Champion is Maura Masters. Masters, a teacher of ESL and Ballet Folklórico at Austin High School,  both instills hope and sets high expectations for those who receive her instruction and guidance. Masters’ work with her students extends far beyond the school day, whether she is advocating for the rights of immigrant youth, seeking opportunities for current and former students, or prepping her troupe for their next performance. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Maura expresses an authentic joy and appreciation for the Latino cultural elements in her kids’ and their families’ lives. She is a great example of an educator who brings the home culture into the classroom for the benefit of 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.