American Graduate Champion: Tearsa Foster

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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.

Today’s Champion is Tearsa Foster. Foster is a special education, social studies and ELA teacher at the Travis County Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program. She has dedicated more than ten years educating and empowering students who have been viewed as troubled and unreachable. Foster meets the students where they are when they enter her classroom, but sets high expectations for them which makes them strive for excellence. The majority of her students are academically behind and have experienced very little success in an academic setting. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Ms. Foster provides hope to all educators and parents. She works with adjudicated students who at times have learning disabilities and/or are emotionally disturbed, however she is able to reach them. Her approach in the classroom creates an atmosphere of enthusiasm for learning. It is a reminder to us all that sometimes it is not that the student cannot be reached, but that perhaps we simply need to take a different approach, and she does just that.”

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: Yesica Diaz

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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.

yesica-diazToday’s Champion is Yesica Diaz. Diaz is a College and Career Counselor at Eastside Memorial High School in Austin. She has 9 years of experience in the field and has counseled students in the following areas: dropout prevention, youth employment programs, career power programs, juvenile hall counseling, and college counseling. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Yesica is a great example that sometimes all it takes is just listening to youth and genuinely being there for them. Yesica is an example that it doesn’t have to take much simply the willingness to accept and be there for 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: Ginger Morris

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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.

ginger-morrisToday’s Champion is Ginger Morris. As the creator of the Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards, producer/director/choreographer of high school musicals and mentor to musical theatre Students, Morris has had an impact on many students. She is also the Education Manager at the Long Center for the Performing Arts and the founder/ director of Texas Arts Project, a nationally recognized arts boarding camp at St. Stephen’s School. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Ginger works to make musical theatre not only accessible, but fun and memorable for young students who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity. You often hear in the news of budget cuts for the arts, and how young people lack exposure to theatre and music – but Ginger is making sure that doesn’t become a reality here in Austin. She is living proof that anything is possible if you work hard enough, and that giving back is part of what makes the arts community in Austin so incredibly special. She is truly an inspiration for lovers of the arts, lovers of teaching, and overall lovers of our city.”

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: Gabriel Estrada

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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.

gabriel-estradaToday’s Champion is Gabriel Estrada. Estrada directs Austin Voices for Education and Youth’s Stand Up Clubs and Project AIM after school  program, and assists with community organizing and school improvement  efforts. He worked for the Austin Independent School District for 20 years, 19 of those as a 5th and 6th grade teacher at Zavala Elementary in East Austin. While there, he was an active member of Zavala’s renaissance as a nationally recognized community-based school reform model. His efforts in Zavala’s turnaround included leading educator development, house meetings over issues brought forth from community members and teachers, and actively initiating programs that enriched the education of students. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “In his 20 years of teaching, Gabe shepherded many a student and quite a few families to a pathway of academic success. Most of these families are Latino and low-income, and Gabe’s role as a mentor and trailblazer was significant. He believes in public education and its promise to give everyone the opportunity to be successful.”

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: Phillip Eaglin

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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.

phillip-eaglinToday’s Champion is Phillip Eaglin. Eaglin, a former middle/high school teacher is the Founder & CEO of Changing Expectations, which provides informal STEM education learning opportunities for youth. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Phillips is an active advocate for young men of color and the importance of education. He has a perspective on his work that is firmly grounded in his own history as a science classroom teacher and as a professional development provider for science and mathematics education as well as for systemic school improvement. Phillip is strongly committed to supporting the STEM teaching and learning of high-need, traditionally underserved student populations, their parents, and their teachers.”

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: 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.