NM PBS General Manager Franz Joachim poses with American Graduate Champions Marvin Procter and Angela Reed Padilla at the 2017 Awards Luncheon held on September 8, 2017 at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
An American Graduate Champion commits their time, skills and resources to make sure that young people succeed. He or she is an individual who plays an active role in improving educational outcomes for students. A champion is a parent who is active in the lives of young people or a volunteer who creates a positive environment daily for youth in their community. Here are our 2017 Champions.
CEO, The Improve Group
Marv collaborated with the New Mexico Center for School Leadership to place six students from Health Leadership and Technology Leadership High Schools in paid internships with his company. These schools serve students with great potential who have dropped out or find themselves off track to graduation. He has hired two of these interns at his company. Two others (both young parents) have been placed in paid professional positions in other organizations. He has shown students a way to stop trading off their future with dead end jobs. Marvin is committed to helping recruit more companies into the project and scale it to serve all 250 graduates from the Leadership High Schools. Marv is a true American Graduate Champion.
Angela Reed Padilla
CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico
During her tenure, Angela has increased the number of children who have an adult mentor from 300 to over 1,200. Four years ago she launched a pilot mentoring program at two Albuquerque high schools. In both these schools, every student is matched with a mentor who is there to help them acquire life skills that prepare them for college and career. The mentor 2.0 program that she piloted is now being replicated in 10 other Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies throughout the country. Now her agency has launched mentor 3.0 which is designed to provide mentors for high school graduates through their first couple of years of college. Angela also finds time to mentor high school students herself. She is truly an American Graduate champion.