School: John W. Runyon Elementary School
Being educated in DISD and sharing a near identical background with my students, I am able to exemplify the value of a college education and, above all, normalize this value for my students. My students know that their teacher was a young Latina in Oak Cliff that went to college and received an excellent education and if she can do it, young 2nd graders from Pleasant Grove can definitely do it too. My students made educational goals for themselves and recited them every day, making it clear that a college education was not only a mission, but their reality and their future. At their young age, my students understand the obstacles and roadblocks that will be placed along their paths, but instead of cowering and resenting a system, they empower themselves to push beyond any limit. My greatest joy in my classroom is hearing my students articulate why they want a college education, what they want to study, who they want to make proud, and above all, why they deserve to go to college. During our time together my students work endlessly not only to prepare themselves for the next grade, but to build themselves up to be exemplary students. It is this passion and drive that my students have instilled in them that will ensure they break through any barrier and attain a college education that they have so tirelessly worked for.