American Graduate Champions | KERA News

American Graduate Champions

KERA’s education reporters are profiling folks making a difference in North Texas schools. We’re calling them American Graduate Champions. They commit time, skills and resources to make sure young people succeed. Meet past American Graduate Champions and learn more about the American Graduate initiative on this page.

KERA

Bachman Lake Together Family Center provides extensive child development services and parent engagement programming for low-income families.

Director Jerry Hawkins and parent Denisse Gutierrez talk about the life-changing impact of surrounding children with support and helping parents to be leaders in their communities. 

KERA

As a teenager, Jeanie Greenidge was homeless and hopeless – until a teacher saved her life.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Reggie Moss is a mentor to men of all ages, but mostly, to fathers struggling to raise their kids. He works at a faith-based nonprofit in Fort Worth with a mission to make better dads.

Lara Solt / Special contributor to KERA

As a college student at the University of Missouri, Kam Phillips volunteered at a local Boys and Girls Club. There, she got a lesson in reality when she asked kids what they liked to do for fun.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Sarah Matteson, who works at Texas Woman's University in Denton, helps “nontraditional” students get through college. Students range from homeless kids and those who were in foster care or the military to parents raising young children.

When Matteson entered school, she was nontraditional herself.

Lara Solt / KERA News Special Contributor

What happens when your school heads to the state championship for smart kids three years running? At Seagoville High School in the Dallas school district, students take notice – and the Academic Decathlon team doubles in size. 

Lara Solt / Special contributor to KERA

Laura and Alex Laywell spend most of their days working with refugee kids in Dallas’ Vickery Meadow neighborhood. At night, they open their home to them.