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.

American Graduate Champion: Jodi Granado

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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.

jodi-granadoToday’s Champion is Jodi Granado. Granado, a teacher of GED prep at SW Key Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program, works tirelessly to get youth back on their feet after setbacks. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “As an educator, she knows that some educational success will help breed further success for individuals, and that will have ripple effects in their lives. As a caring, wonderful person, she knows that often times, the kids she serves are longing for stable, long-term support from adults in their lives.”

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 Jones

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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-jonesToday’s Champion is Courtney Jones. Jones is the Founder and Executive Director of Change 1. This volunteer program brings together community organizations, non-profits, churches, and schools to increase volunteerism, mentoring, and fostering to those that are transitioning out of the foster care system. She is a social worker and  dynamic motivational speaker. Over the past 10 years she has advocated for youth and alumni in the foster care system and she is also a former foster youth. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Courtney Jones is an inspirational leader who has overcome tremendous adversity in her life. Statistics show that youth that age out of the foster care system are less likely to graduate high school or pursue a college degree. Courtney has beat the odds by pursuing a masters degree. Her story is one of hope, strength and courage.”

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: Karen Grampp

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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.

karen-gramppToday’s Champion is Karen Grampp. Grampp is a volunteer and coordinates Friday Backpack Program at Anderson Mill Elementary School, a Title 1 school in northwest Austin. The program provides food items for children to take home each Friday. The majority of these students primarily get their food from free breakfast and lunch at school during the week and would not have food on the weekends without the Friday Bakcpack Program. Grampp organizes a team of volunteers, primarily senior citizens from the Anderson Mill Senior Activity Center and the Church of the Savior, to both gather the food and pack the backpacks for the students. The recognition letter submitted by the community said:  ”Karen Grampp is thought of as the one who coordinates for the nourishment of our children’s bodies. The work she does is more than that. She gives senior citizens a purpose. She is a mentor to children and adults. Karen Grampp does more than provide food for the children of Anderson Mill. She helps prepare a future for 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: Terrany Johnson

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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.

terrany-johnsonToday’s Champion is Terrany Johnson. For more than 20 years, Johnson has been a hip hop artist, producer and activist. He is founder of the Urban Artist Alliance, which is dedicated to the continued education of musicians. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: Johnson is inspiring because he is “an African American man born and raised on the east side of Austin, Texas who hurdled past obstacles to grow a business and a legacy. {He is inspiring to} others who rarely see that image to know it is possible to be what they want to be not what the media or others say they should be. He focuses on youth seeing an image of themselves doing great things to be able to break through constant walls designed to keep them back.”

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: Favi Parrilla

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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.

favi-parrillaToday’s Champion is Favi Parrilla. Parrilla, a Parent Educator at Any Baby Can, provides case management services to pregnant/parenting moms. She works with clients one-on-one, most often meeting with them at home or school. She teaches them about child development, parenting skills, and together they set educational/career goals. She has also implement online literacy classes in conjunction with Austin Free-Net to help teach Any Baby Can clients basic online literacy skills including how to conduct an online job search. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “It’s inspiring to know that one idea can turn into a program which can then lead to others having a better understanding of the importance of education. As a result of someone’s idea, some of Favi’s clients decided to go back to school and finish their GED’s and also land full time jobs. This story can inspire others to use their ideas and turn them into realities for the benefit of helping others.”

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: Joshua Moreno

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 Joshua Moreno, a teacher and coach at Paredes Middle School.  In this video, Christian Palacios, a student at McCallum High School, talks about why Moreno is his 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.