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Teacher Spotlight: Carlos Navarro, Uplift Luna Preparatory

Posted by on May 23, 2018 in Success Stories, Teacher Spotlight | 0 comments

8th grade health and physical education teacher Carlos Navarro was nominated for a teacher spotlight by his Impact Manager Summerlin Northrup. Summerlin shared, “Mr. Navarro built strong relationships with his students from the start of the year. On my first encounters observing his class, I watched him welcome each student with a unique secret handshake.  He is an example of a teacher focused on learning about his students and making sure that the bonds he has with them are strong, and because of this, the Roadmap to Success material was well received in his classes. It was exciting to listen as Mr. Navarro’s students asked him questions that they probably were not comfortable sharing with all of their teachers, and that is when the magic of the program really happens.” Read on to learn more about Mr. Navorro’s experience with the Roadmap to Success!   Alma Mater: Dallas Baptist University Area of Study: M.Ed. in Kinesiology Favorite College Memory: Hearing family cheer me on as I received my diploma. Why did you choose to become a teacher? Chose to become a teacher after seeing the need for positive male role models within my community. Teaching provides me with the unique opportunity to be a positive male role model by building strong, positive relationships with students. Favorite activity/ lesson in the Roadmap to Success program: Students enjoyed watching the college spotlight videos at the end of each unit. I enjoyed watching student’s faces light up as they realized that one day, they too would be attending college. One short story highlighting Roadmap to Success in your classroom: My favorite roadmap to success story was simply watching students engage in conversations about their future goals and dreams. Witnessing student’s joy as they reflect on their life goals, future success, and adulthood, was the ultimate highlight. Roadmap to success helped my students realize that going to college is within their...

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Teacher Spotlight: Janet Maher, Immaculate Conception School

Posted by on May 23, 2018 in Success Stories, Teacher Spotlight | 0 comments

Math and science teacher Janet Maher at Immaculate Conception School was nominated for a teacher spotlight by her Impact Manager Summerlin Northrup. “I have had the privilege of being the Impact Manager at Immaculate Conception and it has been a joy to watch Mrs. Maher facilitate the material with her 7th and 8th grade students,” Summerlin shared. “Mrs. Maher makes the content enjoyable and relatable for her students by adding in funny anecdotes and showing students videos like what not to do in an interview. Mrs. Maher’s students have fun in her class, and she is one of those teachers that students say, ‘Yes, I have Mrs. Maher’s class next!’ and they look forward to coming to her class. Those teachers are rare to come by, and we are lucky to have her teaching Roadmap to Success!”   Alma Mater: University of Texas at Arlington Area of Study: Physical Education with a certification for all Elementary (1-8) subjects Favorite College Memory: During college, I really enjoyed going out to the schools to visit the classrooms and teaching Science/Social Studies/ Math/ PE units to various grades. Why did you choose to become a teacher? When I was in High School all I could see myself doing was ice skating in the Olympics. My skills though were not good enough. I chose a college that was close to home and had just opened an ice rink. Shortly after arriving at my chosen college, the rink closed. While I was learning to ice skate, I was told many times I should teach, since I could approach skills or tasks from different angles. When the rink closed, it made me look at what I wanted and what I was capable of doing. At that point I reevaluated what I wanted to do. I really love it when a child understands a concept and the “lightbulb” goes on. Favorite activity/ lesson in the Roadmap to Success program: I think my favorite so far is the GPA lesson. Most of my students thought that if they just had good grades, that would assure them of getting in to the school (High School) they wanted. It was enlightening for them to see the whole package. One short story highlighting Roadmap to Success in your classroom: As a result of the program, when my 8th graders are discussing high schools, they bring up what the campus felt like, what the school has to offer them and what they need to do to get into that school. I feel they are more aware of their choice instead of just going somewhere because that is where their friends are going. There is something of the same going with my 7th graders. They are thinking of where they would like to go when their time comes for high school visits next...

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Teacher Spotlight: Mr. McDuff at Dallas Can Carrollton-Farmers Branch

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017 in Success Stories | 0 comments

We are excited to kick off our 2017-2018 Roadmap to Success teacher spotlights at Dallas Can Carrollton-Farmers Branch! Mr. McDuff was nominated by his Impact Manager, Summerlin Northrup, to be spotlighted. “This is Mr. McDuff’s first year teaching Roadmap to Success at Carrollton Farmers Branch Texans Can, although he has been an educator for over 20 years. Mr. McDuff’s passion for helping his students succeed, even through difficult situations, is evident in the way that he prioritizes building relationships with them. His energy and excitement for teaching Roadmap to Success is motivating for his students, and he makes the content come alive for them by tailoring the material to make it relevant to their lives. It is impossible to be in Mr. McDuff’s room and not smile because of the difference he is clearly making in his students’ lives.” — Summerlin Northrup Read on for an interview with Mr. McDuff! Name: Dariet McDuff Grade Taught: 9th thru 12th Subject Taught: BCIS Alma Mater: Jaguar Area of Study: Education Leadership & Business Management Favorite College Memory: Graduation Why did you choose to become a teacher? Teachers do more than teach, and their impact extends far beyond the classroom. As a teacher, you are more than just an educator: you are a mentor, a confidant and a friend. One of the most common reasons to become a teacher is to make a difference in the lives of as many students as you can.  Another reasons for becoming a teacher is to contribute to your community in a meaningful way. Teaching is one of the most direct ways to make an impact, and if you are driven by the desire to help those around you, being a teacher is an vital contribution. It’s an opportunity to work with young people and make a difference in their lives. Teaching is fun, and there are plenty of opportunities to be creative in conveying information to young people. There’s the chance to inspire students in the way you were...

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Mayor’s Summer Intern fellow Angelica shares her experience at EOD

Posted by on Aug 2, 2017 in Success Stories | 0 comments

As a rising senior at Skyline High School, I knew the last two years of high school  would be the most important and possibly filled with the most responsibilities. Because I never had a job until now, I didn’t know what it would be like to work in an actual working environment. I had known about the Mayor’s Interns Fellows Program (MIFP) for a long time, but because I was not a Dallas ISD student, I wasn’t able to get the opportunity to participate in the program until I transferred into Skyline High School as a junior. Coming in as a junior with excellent grades, I was given some amazing opportunities. Participating in MIFP is one of those great opportunities. I was extremely excited to start the journey of working for a Dallas organization and see what new experience I might gain. The process of getting into the program was long and I had to be extremely patient. The application process consisted of essays, multiple choice questions and survey questions. I had to wait months to figure out if I made it into the program and if any companies wanted to hire me based off my application. Eventually after the long wait, I got the announcement that I made it into the program and seven companies wanted to have an interview with me! One of those many companies was Education Opens Doors. Sandra, an Impact Manager at EOD, interviewed me. I had many questions and I was eager to learn what this company had to offer to all students. Soon enough, I heard back from my college advisor that Education Opens Doors had hired me! I was so excited that I would be working with Education Opens Doors Education Opens Doors was an easy choice and I couldn’t wait to meet the people I would work with! On my first day I felt extremely welcomed and met my fellow intern, Victor. Every single staff member was kind and very helpful; we even had the chance to all eat together. People’s attitudes did not change from the first day; they continued to be kind and helpful. I got to learn a lot about every single staff member when I had an informational interview with them.  Everyone, especially my supervisor Sandra, was willing to help and cooperate with me for whatever I needed. Every question I had was answered and my colleagues demonstrated appreciation for my accomplishments. During my time at EOD, I was able to perform many tasks and establish new skills. One of the projects I worked on was to edit Do-Now slides and questions. I created questions that students would like to be asked at the beginning of each lesson that they worked on. I also worked to create and edit Teacher share out slides and questions, where I brainstormed questions that students could ask their teachers at the end of the lesson. For example, one question that students might ask is “Did you receive a scholarship to go to college?” These questions enable students to learn more about their teacher’s experiences and hear first-hand accounts of the college-going process. When performing these tasks, I was able to share my opinions and thoughts in my work. Another project that I had was to simply give feedback on the...

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Summer Intern Victor reflects on his experience at EOD

Posted by on Jul 26, 2017 in Success Stories | 0 comments

During high school, I went through many different experiences. As a freshman I was given the opportunity to assist with the Mayor’s Intern Program. So many things got in my way that I wasn’t able to apply to the program my junior year. After that year, Education Opens Doors (EOD) came around and, as ironic as it might sound, this internship actually opened a door for me. At my high school, Hillcrest High School, I am in a four year program called the Academy of Engineering. This program requires students to have at least one internship in order to be NAF Certified (NAF is an organization that provides different programs for students in high school in order to be future ready). NAF solves some of the biggest challenges facing education and the economy by bringing education, business and community leaders together to transform the high school experience. Many internships were offered to me, either with for-profit or nonprofit organizations. I decided to explore a nonprofit internship and Education Opens Doors (EOD) was the one I chose. Knowing nothing but the fact that it was about education and helping others, EOD caught my attention. I went to the website and found out more. I learned that EOD was more than just an internship for me this summer, it was an opportunity for me to learn about different obstacles that might stand in my way through high school and college and about things I can do to avoid facing these obstacles. After many applications and revisions I became a member of the Education Opens Doors team. I really appreciate the EOD team and this opportunity. I have the good fortune of not only updating my résumé but also experiencing a real work-life routine. At EOD I am working on a photo shoot with local Dallas youth in order to update the pictures that EOD uses in the book and powerpoints. I am working with a mentor-photographer for advice on how to perform this task successfully. I am also reviewing the book to double check what will improve it and what can we change and replace. I’ve learned many different ways to stay up to date with the different projects I was working on. At first it was a huge challenge for me to keep organized, but my team, especially Celestino, helped me and taught me to use different apps and ways to keep organized. I will not lie–I am still learning and trying to keep up with my plans. Google Queues was one of the main systems that helped me be more organized and on task. Through this program, I really wanted to obtain new skills such as time management, project planning and organizational skills. I have been able to develop these skills as  I have done most of the planning for big projects such as the photo-shoot and book editing. These skills are the best ones I have adapted professionally for school use and for the future. These skills do not just help me professionally, but they saved me tons of time. Overall I really appreciate everything. I hope that Education Opens Doors goes really far with such a great cause in helping out students! Victor Mestas is a senior at Hillcrest High School, Class of 2018. He has spent...

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May Teachers of the Month: Robert T. Hill Middle School

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Success Stories | 0 comments

We are excited to highlight the teaching team at Robert T. Hill Middle School as the Team of the Month for May! Hill’s Impact Manager, Courtney Fadley, chose to highlight Hill. Courtney shared with the Hill team that she chose to highlight them because “as a team, you all rallied around our program from the very beginning. It is not often that we have schools start in January and complete as much of the program as you all have, especially with 6th graders! You all have taken the opportunity to encourage, engage, and empower the young minds of your students with information that is so crucial to their futures. I love being ears and eyes in your classrooms as you facilitate the program. The following quote from one of your 6th graders is such a great picture of what you all as social studies teachers bring to our program. ‘Success to me means that you can do something you actually like doing and maybe even being able to travel around the world.'” The teaching team at Hill Middle School: Ms. Neal, Mr. Jarvis and Ms. Eldred Not pictured: Mr. Smajlovic Read on to learn more about team lead Ms. Neal! The team lead at Hill is Ms. Neal, a 6th grade World Cultures teacher. Alma Mater: Texas Women’s University Area of Study: Art History Favorite College Memory: While at TWU, I loved having the freedom to decide what I wanted to make of my future. College is where I was able to discover who I truly was as an individual. Why did you choose to become a teacher? I have an undying passion for helping students achieve their dreams and overcome everyday obstacles. As a teacher, I am able to reach many students on a daily basis and do what I absolutely love. Share a quote you find inspiring. “You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need.” –Jerry Gilles What is one thing you like most about your 6th grade social studies team? As a 6th grade Social Studies team, we are able to work together and to achieve the same goal which is creating life long...

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April Mentor of the Month: JJ Ponce

Posted by on Apr 13, 2017 in Success Stories | 0 comments

This month Education Opens Doors is thrilled to highlight one of our unique partnerships. Not all Roadmap to Success teachers are traditional classroom teachers! Our April mentor of the month is JJ Ponce, a mentor with  Asociacion de Empresarios Mexicanos (AEM). AEM works to inspire and encourage young men and women to excel academically, professionally and, ultimately, in their communities. Mentors utilize the Roadmap to Success to encourage students to find and develop their passion, support students as they navigate through high school and transition into college, assist with college applications and funding and developing interpersonal skills. We’re excited to share more about their work and one of their fantastic mentors, JJ! Alma Mater: University of Texas at Arlington & Texas Wesleyan University School of Law Area of Study: Business & Law Favorite College Memory: Graduation, no question. This is not because I was done with school, I had already planned to go to law school thereafter. Graduation for me was the culmination of many years of hard work. Why did you choose to become a mentor? I believe in mentoring because we can help the next generation with some of the most important decisions of their lives. Our students are tomorrow’s leaders. They will shape our workplace and our world. Hopefully the work we do can help positively change their lives and the communities they live in. Share a quote you find inspiring! “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Favorite activity/ lesson in the Roadmap to Success program ​Choosing Your Path – because figuring this part out allows us to determine what the students goals are so we can begin planning to achieve...

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March Teacher of the Month

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Success Stories | 0 comments

Our March teacher of the month is Ms. Edwards, a 7th grade language arts teacher at Boude Storey Middle School. Ms. Edwards was nominated by her Impact Manager, Sandra Godina, for her dedication to the Roadmap to Success program and her students. Read on to learn more about her background, why she chose to teach and her favorite Roadmap to Success lesson! Alma Mater: Paul Quinn College, Bachelors and Prairie View A&M University, Masters Area of Study: Bachelors-Elementary Education, Masters-Education Administration Favorite College Memory: My favorite college memory has nothing to do with education. My college roommate and I rode the bus downtown to Dallas’s Deep Ellum for a night of fun. She, not being from Dallas, and I, not being from Texas, had no idea about bus schedules. When we were done having our college fun, we missed the last bus to return to the train that would take us to a bus that would eventually take us to the campus. Because no busses were running at the time, we had to walk from Deep Ellum to the train station in the wee hours of the morning. It was the scariest fun we ever experienced. Why did you choose to become a teacher? When I first arrived to college, I chose to pursue Business Management. One of my professors had given an assignment to read a chapter of text in preparation for the next class session. The next class session arrived and the professor had us read the required chapter aloud in class. At that moment, I was wondering why we didn’t discuss what we were supposed to read. I felt that we were supposed to apply the principles we learned in the reading. But, we didn’t. At that moment, I realized that I could do it better. I realized that I could teach in a way that students could apply the learning. Share a quote you find inspiring! In my humble opinion, my job as an educator is to equip students with as much knowledge as I can in hopes that it is combined with the guidance of their parents to help mold students into their future selves. Parents can only give advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands. -Anne Frank What is your favorite activity/ lesson in the Roadmap to Success program? I really enjoyed the lesson where the students learned to calculate their GPA. When the students were placed in teams to play basketball, we were so loud, the administrators and security personnel had to check in on us to make sure no one was injured! Yes, the game was fun, but most importantly, the students understood the importance of class selection and how their hard-earned grades have...

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Roadmap to Success in action at L.V. Stockard Middle School

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 in Events, Success Stories | 0 comments

Education Opens Doors recently hosted a site visit at L.V. Stockard Middle School, where the Roadmap to Success began! Site visits are a way for donors, potential partners and community members to visit a school that implements the Roadmap to Success and see the program in action. Guests also have the opportunity to speak to students, teachers and administrators of the program to hear about their experiences and get a first-hand account of the assets and some of the challenges they face on their campus. Mr. Varrassi, the principal at Stockard, kicked off the day by discussing his role on campus (he is in his second year as principal), how the Roadmap to Success is implemented and some other middle school highlights. He also talked about the feeder high school that Stockard feeds into and the Business Technology program offered there. Education Opens Doors Founding Executive Director Jayda Batchelder shared some of her personal story and the history of Education Opens Doors at Stockard, the school where she taught as a Teach for America corps member and where the Roadmap to Success was originally conceived. One of the best things about a site visit is getting to hear from students themselves. We tell the story of Education Opens Doors proudly, but our students make the program come alive. At Stockard we had six students join us for a panel discussion. Alejandra shared that math isn’t really her thing, but after starting the program she learned how much of each subject she would need in her career and it’s helped motivate her to turn her assignments in on time. Cassey talked about how the Roadmap to Success has pushed her to stay in her pre-AP classes so she can be ahead when she gets to high school. Several of the students are planning to apply to high schools of choice; they all have big dreams, from being a dance teacher or veterinarian to pursuing electrical engineering and law. Following the student panel, we visited two classrooms and observed two lessons in action: “Why Go to College” and “Paying for College.” In both classrooms guests were able to wander around and view the lesson in action, engage with students and observe what the Roadmap to Success curriculum looks like in person. Our campus team closed the day strong with a stakeholder panel where teacher-advocate Ms. Stone was joined by 7th grade Assistant Principal Ms. Bachlet Smith and Stockard’s impact manager, Sandra Godina. Ms. Smith’s words describing the culture shift on the Stockard campus were very powerful. Because of the conversations that students are having as a part of the program, the 7th graders now have a mindset that “I know I can go to college.” This increased aspiration is a huge part of why Education Opens Doors exists, and it was exciting to hear about the impact happening at Stockard. Many thanks to the entire team at L.V. Stockard Middle School for a great...

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January Student of the Month

Posted by on Jan 25, 2017 in Success Stories | 0 comments

Our January student of the month is Tamika, an 11th grader at Houston Can Academy Southwest. She has big dreams of becoming an entrepreneur after high school and to study at Sam Houston State University- read on to hear more about how her experience with the Roadmap to Success is helping her get there! What do you plan to do after high school? After high school, getting a better understanding of business and marketing is my ultimate goal. I would like to learn as much as I can to pass down what I know freely to young individuals like me who are trying to accomplish being independent for themselves and create something much more than just a dream and a hope but a legacy that works and can be carried on to others. What kind of job would you like to have in the future? Being an entrepreneur is what I plan to be in the future. Working for myself and on my own time has always been one of my goals. Working for yourself you have way more time to enjoy the things you love to do and spend time with your family and children. What is your favorite Roadmap to Success lesson and why? Practicing professionalism. This lesson breaks down how important it is to be professional no matter what crowd of people you are around. Surround yourself with positive people because their good habits will rub off on you. Having a good personality could also open a lot of doors for you with any career you’re trying to get into. It teaches you the ways of networking, using your vocabulary in the correct way, showing your intelligence and ability to be a fast learner. What is the most important thing you learned from Roadmap to Success? Apply hard work and dedication to accomplish what you want. Make a game plan first so you won’t be lost but you have a solid plan to take the steps that you need to...

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