AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Through the Texas Education Agencies "Grow Your Own" grant, the Amarillo Independent School District can now provide financial assistance to 10 paraprofessionals working towards their bachelor's and ultimately becoming certified teachers.
"Paraprofessionals in our district that have shown us that they have a heart for our students, that they have a servant's heart, that they want to lead in this capacity," said Parent Engagement and Talent Acquisition Coordinator for AISD Dr. Zuleyma Carruba-Rogel.
TEA's goal for the grant is to help increase the quality and diversity of the teaching force, a priority echoed by district leadership.
"It's very important for us that our students see themselves represented among the educators that lead in our district," said Dr. Carruba-Rogel.
Dr. Carruba-Rogel said along with financial assistance, AISD wants to provide mentorship and coaching to these individuals as they continue working full-time while also pursuing their education.
"Part of graduating every student prepared for success beyond high school means that we have to prepare our students to be exposed to folks from various walks of life," said Dr. Carruba-Rogel. "We want our students to be able to go into their careers and professions having that experience."
Recent studies show students feel safer in school, and in life, when they are educated in a diverse setting.
The study said when students are able to learn about different cultures and backgrounds, they are then able to feel a greater sense of comfort with these differences.