Catalina Lechuga – La Academia de Estrellas
Catalina Lechuga, a resident of Dallas, decided 11 years ago to dedicate herself to her five children and to open a business, M&M Diesel Mechanic Service, with her husband. Her children attend La Academia De Estrellas Charter School and their education is very important to her. For that reason, she makes the time to volunteer at their school, where she serves as the vice president of the school’s PTO and ensures that her children stay active with sports, dance and cheerleading. She is very humbled and pleased by the fact that others have noticed how she strives to help her children succeed in their education as well as in life.
David Sanchez – Academy at West Birdville
David Sanchez is an electrician from Haltom City, Texas, who has enjoyed working with electricity since high school and decided to study it as a career. With three daughters at the Academy at West Birdville Elementary School he motivates them to do well in school because he believes in the leverage that an education can give. Mr. Sanchez talks to his children to make sure he knows their interests and how to best motivate them. He believes in not simply giving his daughters answers, but in guiding them. By doing so, he is helping them learn and starting them down the path to their future success.
Gloria Yeberino – John R. Good Elementary
Gloria Yeberino is from Nuevo Leon, Mexico. She recently began working as an assistant for the Quest Scholars Program at her son’s school, John R. Good Elementary. At an early age her son was diagnosed with ADHD which has lead Mrs. Yeberino to be involved in her child’s educational life by helping him with his homework and staying in constant communication with his teachers. She actively participates as a volunteer helping teachers and attending the parent academy. By staying involved, she hopes to ensure that her son can go to college and be prepared to have a professional career in the future.
David Solis – Nimitz High School
David Solis was born in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. He has lived in Irving, Texas, for 21 years and works for Oncor Energy. Mr. Solis has raised three sons, all of whom graduated from Nimitz High School. From the beginning of their school careers, he has worked closely with teachers and staff on school activities, became part of the PTA board as a bilingual translator, and eventually became the first Latino male PTA president at J.O. Schulze Elementary. By being an active parent, he is not only making a difference in his children’s lives, but also for the rest of his community.
Valerie Smith – Sam Houston Middle School
Valerie Smith lives in Irving, Texas and is the mother of twin boys from Sam Houston Middle School. She encourages her children to help others through various groups such as church, school clubs or volunteer work. As a single mother, she tries to impart in them the importance of doing the best they can, staying positive, helping others, being respectful, and having good manners. She also encourages her sons to not be followers, but to do the right thing, stay prayerful, read the Bible and most importantly, never give up.
Dora Rodríguez – Urban Park Elementary
Dora Rodríguez is the mother of five and has helped raise over a dozen of her grandchildren, having legally adopted two of them after their mother was incarcerated. She spends time with her grandchildren, reading to them, is an active parent at Urban Park Elementary School and supporting them through their personal and academic struggles. Education for her never ends; she learns something new every day and uses that knowledge to make things happen in the lives of her children.
Francia de la Rosa – Las Voces Olvidadas de la Tecera Edad
Francia de la Rosa, from the Dominican Republic, has lived in Texas for 14 years, raising her now 15-year-old grandson. Shortly after her grandson was born, his mother went into a coma and Mrs. de la Rosa became his primary caretaker. Before coming to Texas, Mrs. de la Rosa was an active member of various school organizations and was certified from her child’s “Escuela de Padres,” where she took parenting and personal development classes. Today she works as a Center Manager for Dallas County’s Senior Centers, is a member of Las Voces Olvidadas, and stays active in her grandson’s life to ensure that he does well in school and is well equipped for a bright future.