American Graduate Champion: Bianca Neal

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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.

bianca_nealToday’s Champion is Bianca Neal. Neal is a Restorative Justice Coordinator with KIPP Connections Charter School. And she is the liaison between students, teachers, and parents. She is the glue that keeps things together and the sandpaper that smooths out the rough spot. She is an advocate for the student. Neal is a Champion because she tirelessly serves youth in her community. She has done it for a decade. She facilities conversations between students as well as students and their parents. In doing so she is able to deliver justice where it is deserved. Students appreciate this method of interaction and benefit from the conversations. Bianca went above and beyond her job responsibilities and created a speakers series at her school where she leverages her community connections and brings in distinguished and esteemed speakers and community leaders that educate and inspire the students. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “She is such a light at her school. The students and staff love her! None of this is her responsibility…it’s her passion. She’s awesome!”

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.

 

KLRU congratulates Westlake HS Teacher Natalie Cannon!

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Central Texas educators continue to garner national attention from PBS LearningMedia!

Natalie Cannon is the latest educator to be named a PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator. Natalie teaches various levels of Latin at Westlake HS in Eanes ISD, and co-sponsors The WHS Latin Club. Natalie began teaching middle school at St. Gabriel’s Catholic School before moving to Westlake High School, where she has now taught for six years. Her favorite part of her job is finding productive uses for modern technology in order to enliven an ancient language for her students.

Over the next year, Natalie will take part in a professional development program that will prepare her to extend her influence as a digital learning ambassador in her school and community.

Natalie’s favorite PBS LearningMedia resource: A Roman’s Eye View

PBS LearningMedia is PBS’ digital archive of 100,000+ educational assets made available to educators and the US public – for free! In Central Texas, over 7,000 educators have to date created LearningMedia accounts for use in their classrooms and for their own interests. Teachers can build and archive lessons incorporating digital media, and a new student feature allows their students to create and display storyboards to demonstrate their knowledge.

Check out Central Texas’ prior LearningMedia Digital Innovator, Julie Hildebrand, here

 

American Graduate Champion: SaulPaul

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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.

saul-paulToday’s Champion is SaulPaul. A “Musician with a Message,” SaulPaul works as  a mentor and speaker encouraging youth to pursue “education not incarceration.”  He has taken his history with incarceration and has transformed his life into one that  connects with at-risk youth in a way that only a few can. He has volunteers at treatment facilities to help encourage and uplift youth on probation to believe in something better. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: ”SaulPaul brings hope and direction to young people using his own story and creative talents as inspiration. At TEDxYouth@Austin, in the spirit of ideas worth spreading, SaulPaul presented “Re:Start Your Life” to high school students. “Using his tasteful rhymes and freestyle raps, SaulPaul incorporates his unique style with his guitar and loop pedal; his powerful voice and brings his inspiring message to the world.” SaulPaul’s music allows him to capture the attention of diverse crowds to deliver a relevant message through the example of his own life story. From transitioning middle and high school students in metro Atlanta to a district in the backwoods of Little Rock, AR, SaulPaul’s music is influential. Touching the hearts and minds of students through live performances at home and abroad, there is social good in SaulPaul’s message. In classrooms, at professional conferences, or as a youth mentor, SaulPaul encourages positive decisions for positive results; using his story as evidence.

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: Joseph Baird

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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.

joseph-bairdToday’s Champion is Joseph Baird. Baird is the Mariachi Director at Lehman High School. In his first year as the director, he has increased the musicianship of the program, and given these kids something to be very proud of. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Not all school districts have a Mariachi Program in their music department, so those of us in HCISD are very lucky to have the opportunity to join such an organization. The Mariachi groups have fun, compete, and truly represent their schools with pride.”

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: Remy-Brice Uwilingiyimana

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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.

remy_briceuwilingiyimanaToday’s Champion is Remy-Brice Uwilingiyimana. Uwilingiyimana is the Hot Spot Program Coordinator at Boys & Girls Club East. Known as the the pied piper, Remy’s association with the Boys & Girls Club began when he was an AmeriCorp volunteer with the ACE program at Oak Springs Elementary School. Remy is gentle, kind, respectful and when it comes to having the kids get some work done or follow through on an activity. The kids respond to him and look up to him — he’s an older brother, mentor, counselor and friend. Remy is responsible for running the technology program “Hot Spot” for the East Club and to assist with other Hot Spot locations by training staff and helping determine curriculum. He’s always open to new ideas, works hard and loves what he does. He touches many lives through his work, dedication and the respect and love he unselfishly shows the children in the Boys & Girls Clubs. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “It’s so refreshing to be around a young man of color who is so dedicated to young children. These children need a role model in their lives since many come from broken families, with no positive male figure in their lives. Remy’s story might inspire other young men to share their expertise in helping the at-risk youth in our community.”

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: Sterling McGruder

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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_mcgruder1Today’s Champion is Sterling McGruder. McGruder is the principal at Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy and works with middle school students, staff, and parents. His students admire the leadership he presents. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Others would benefit from knowing this because we at Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy are getting a first hand example of what a leader does and how a leader makes a difference. Mr. McGruder shows leadership throughout the day and beyond.”

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: Kelly St. Julien

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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.

kelly_stjulienToday’s Champion is Kelly St. Julien. Kelly is the Hot Spot Coordinator of the Boys & Girls Club of Austin and the Site Director of the Boys & Girls Club East. Kelly is a Champion because he’s been the typical Boys & Girls Club kid. Growing up in Lafayette, LA, the Boys & Girls Club was home away from home — a place where he felt safe. Kelly was able to grow and flourish in this environment where he was given the freedom to explore and build a computer from donated parts and a computer manual he picked up. From there he developed a usage and maintenance policy and ran their computer room once they were able to get more computers. He started running club programs at 14-15 years of age that still run today. Kelly wants his B&G Club kids to be able to experience what he experienced at his hometown club. He wants his kids to find something that they are good at and make the B&G Club “their club” just like Kelly did in his youth. Kelly knows the tough life that some of his club kids come from and has learned that giving children the structured freedom to find something that they excel at in a safe environment is powerful, life-changing and self affirming. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “This position at the Boys & Girls Club is not just a job, it’s a mission and you can hear it in his voice and see it in his face when you get him talking about his dreams and ideas of where he wants to take the club in the future. You cannot help but be inspired!”

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: Tammy Partridge

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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.

tammy-partridgeToday’s Champion is Tammy Partridge. Partridge is a 3rd Grade Teacher at Steiner Ranch Elementary. Partridge tries hard to teach her class. Her students believe that she makes learning fun and interesting. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “She is an example of a great teacher.”

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: Rhonda Hauser

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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.

rhonda-hauserToday’s Champion is Rhonda Hauser. Hauser is the Director of the University of Texas Priscilla Pond Flawn Child & Family Laboratory. She works and interacts with children, parents, college students, staff. Hauser is a champion because she truly lives to help those she works with and beyond. Not only does she come in to contact with children ages 18 mo.- 6 years of age and the parents and caregivers of these children, but day in and day out she mentors those adults that want to learn more about positive guidance in the early childhood space and much more. Many have found in her a true friend, mentor, advocate and role model. She has helped many families with the day to day transitions and struggles of parenting, but has also been there for families who have experienced divorce, death, homelessness, poverty. Rhonda is a Champion because she lives to make a positive impact in the lives of many. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Others would benefit from this because no matter the many different roles Rhonda plays she always puts her best foot forward. Rhonda does not sing her own praises but instead her character and work speak for itself and is demonstrated in the many lives she touches.”

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: Courtney Seals

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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.

courtney-sealsToday’s Champion is Courtney Seals. Seals is the program director of three Southwest Key Programs that service juvenile justice youth. In her first program she helps to coordinate Enrichment Activities for youth who are being served at a court mandated treatment facility. Her second program is a Youth Mentoring program that looks to link at-risk youth with volunteer mentors in hopes to help the youth successfully complete and transition out of probation, but most importantly for the youth to have a connection to a positive community. Lastly, she works for the Family Keys Program which looks to prevent truant youth from entering the juvenile justice system altogether. She works with her case manager to provide services to the entire family in hopes to re-engage the youth with school and their community. She is one of those service providers that the youth constantly return to for help and advice. She is definitely a champion that deserves recognition! The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “The greatest thing about Courtney is her passion. Anyone that meets her would be inspired by the manner in which she serves the youth. For the youth, to know that there are providers out there that genuinely care and will sacrifice to help them fulfill their dreams and succeed is invaluable.”

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.