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.

American Graduate Champion: Natalie Cannon

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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.

natalie-cannonToday’s Champion is Natalie Cannon! Natalie is a Latin teacher at Westlake High School. Natalie takes Latin above and beyond any regular classroom teaching trough her use of electronic media, and she has changed learning from reading out of a textbook to exploring Latin in new and boundless ways.

Matthew Kearney, a student at Westlake High School, gives an example of how Natalie uses media to teach. “This year we watched a short film on Roman History. Instead of having us take notes on paper, she had us post tweets about the movie, tagging them so that other people in our class could read and respond to them. She employed this so that we could ask each other questions and help one another better understand the information being presented in the movie.”

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.

An Eastside Education premieres June 23rd

You’ve probably heard of Eastside Memorial High School before, but not like this. This story follows one semester at the most talked about school in one of Austin’s oldest neighborhoods as teachers, parents, administrators, and students fight to meet state accountability standards or watch their school be closed.

Click here on June 23 to watch the six-part digital series from KLRU­-TV, Austin PBS.
Sign up here to be notified when the story is published.

American Graduate Champion: David Robb

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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.

david-robbToday’s Champion is David Robb! David is a journalism teacher at Pflugerville High School. He develops his students’ abilities to become stronger journalists and provides experience and insight on all of their projects to further their growth.

Kennedy Huff, a student at Pflugerville High School, says, “Within the three years that I’ve known him with his help I’ve gone from a student to a hardworking journalist. Robb helps students pursue their passions for storytelling. The students are fully engaged in the creative process, and David Robb takes that one step further. He inspires students to become more than they ever thought possible.”

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: Samuel Hernandez

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.

Screen shot 2015-06-04 at 10.37.12 AMToday’s Champion is Samuel Hernandez! This video shows students at Cedar Ridge High School, telling why Hernandez, a football coach, is their American Graduate Champion. The letter from student Kahli McQuitty says “Coach Hernandez has been there for me since I joined the school. As the ‘new kid’ I had to overcome many obstacles and he was there every step of the way, always with a smile on his face. Coach Hernandez is not only constantly encouraging me during football, but also to raise my grades and improve my academic life. He is easy to talk to and get advice from.”

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: Cori Mullins

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.

cori-mullinsToday’s Champion is Cori Mullins! This video shows students at Cedar Ridge High School, telling why Mullins, a Tennis coach, is their American Graduate Champion. From the letter from the students “Coach Mullins always encourages us and supports us in tennis and in school. She has taught all of her tennis players to work hard and to really go after what they want. Coach Mullins shows just how much adults in a community can support students.”

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: Jose Jimenez

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.

Today’s Champion is Jose Jimenez! This video shows students at Cedar Ridge High School, telling why Jimenez is their American Graduate Champion. “Sr. Jimenez is a great example of a teacher who is truly making a different in his student’s lives. Sr. Jimenez pushes us to do better in his class and in other classes. He makes learning so entertaining and he inspires us to do our very best. He is so friendly and open, and he makes his classroom so engaging, exciting, and comfortable. He has always helped us through high school.” Watch the video to find out more!

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: Ashley Moran

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.

ashley-moranToday’s Champion is Ashley Moran! This video shows students at Cedar Ridge High School, telling why Moran is their American Graduate Champion. “Ms. Moran is a great example of a teacher who is really making a difference in the lives of her students. She was encouraging, a real cheer leader. She would always push us in history and in our other classes.” Watch the video to find out more!

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: Kara Barfield’s Friends

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.

KaraandFriendToday’s Champions are Kara Barfield’s friends! This video shows Kara Barfield, a student at Cedar Ridge High School, and why her friends are her champions. “My friends have all inspired me to go to school and gave me the strength to push myself further. Not only did they encourage me, they made me find my love for school again.” Watch the video to find out more!

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.