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.

Sandra Carswell, Librarian in Copperas Cove ISD, local winner in the PBS LearningMedia Get Your Tech On Sweepstakes!

Ms. Carswell, Librarian at S.C. Lee Junior High School in Copperas Cove, is the second local winner of a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and a one-year subscription to the Premium level of PBS LearningMedia. A 25-year veteran educator, Ms. Carswell started her career with an abiding love of reading, which she found morphing into an interest in technology and its potential for young learners.

Copperas Cove ISD has a “bring your own device” policy for its students. With that in mind, Ms. Carswell looks forward to furthering her proficiency on her Galaxy Tablet as she helps students find and use quality digital resources – like PBS LearningMedia.

Carswell with student

AISD Interim Superintendent answers questions in Civic Summit

Civic Summit

Austin ISD Interim Superintendent, Dr. Paul Cruz, is the sole finalist to become the permanent superintendent. Until the school board officially confirms him, AISD is hosting 5 community forums around the district. KLRU hosted one of those forums Tuesday evening in Studio 6A. Civic Summit: Student & Teacher Townhall will air Thursday, January 22, at 9pm.

During the hour-long discussion, hosted by Judy Maggio, Dr. Cruz spoke about a variety of issues facing the district including the school finance lawsuit, expanding pre-K, working with the newly elected City Council, equity among students, and so much more. PBS Student Reporting Labs All-Star and local high school senior Kennedy Huff fielded questions from our studio audience, made up of students, educators, parents, and community members.

The full show will be posted online on January 22. Until then, you can watch excerpts in the YouTube playlist below.

This Civic Summit was part of KLRU’s American Graduate initiative. As an American Graduate station, KLRU is seeking a clearer understanding of the nature and impact of the dropout problem in our region, and is partnering with organizations working to increase graduation rates. You can find more information about the initiative by visiting: klru.org/americangraduate.

Straus Re-Elected House Speaker

Representative Joe Straus will return to his role as House Speaker after a landslide win over Representative Scott Turner.

Turner has worked over the past year to curry favor with conservatives in order to unseat Rep. Straus as Speaker.  It was a campaign that led Straus to make veiled comments about Turner’s efforts to turn fellow Republicans against him in the vote for Speaker.

“Leading up to this day, a small number sought to divide us with misleading and personal attacks,” Straus said after being sworn in as Speaker. “But you can not effectively govern this House by dividing it.”

Straus garnered 127 votes over Turner’s 19.  This is the first time since 1975 that the House has held a contested vote for the Speaker of the House.