Become a School Choice Student Advisor
The Racial Equity Office, in partnership with the Office of Transformation and Innovation, is inviting professional campus staff to serve as School Choice Student Advisors. This initiative aims to increase magnet and choice school enrollment among African American and emergent bilingual students from historically underrepresented communities.
Dallas ISD is seeking 100 School Choice Student Advisors districtwide to support eligible students and families during the School Choice application process, which begins in November. Eligible mentors include professional campus staff, as the advisors will guide students and their families through the application and assessment processes.
The Racial Equity Office asks for the following commitments from participants:
Participate and complete the family check-in activity on the following dates:
- Tuesday, Nov. 8
- Tuesday, Nov. 15
- Tuesday, Dec. 5
- Tuesday, Dec. 20
- Tuesday, Jan. 10
- Tuesday, Jan. 17
- Wednesday, Jan. 25
- Monday, Jan. 30
Other responsibilities include attending a virtual orientation, virtual student advisor check-ins and submitting documentation.
School Choice Student Advisors will receive a $500 stipend when they meet the required criteria and submit the proper documentation. For consideration, please complete the School Choice Student Advisor interest form. All selected advisors will be given virtual orientation training.
To get to know the program better, meet one of last year’s advisors: Winnetka Elementary School Counselor Yara Duran.
Duran mentored five students, who went on to apply to W.E. Greiner Exploratory Arts Academy, Henry W. Longfellow Career Exploration Academy, Dallas Environmental Science Academy, Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, Rosemont Preparatory School and Jesús Moroles Expressive Arts Vanguard.
Why did you become a School Choice Student Advisor?
I became an advisor because I wanted to help our students reach their potential at a school that would challenge them. Many of the students and families are not aware that their child qualifies for a magnet middle school, so it was a great feeling to deliver that news to them. As a product of Dallas ISD, I had no idea what a magnet school was. Once I did find out, it was too late for me. I wanted to be a part of a program that spread the news to families, like mine, who were unaware of these opportunities.
What are the main responsibilities involved?
Our main responsibility was first to congratulate and inform the families that their child qualified to apply to a magnet school—with some of our schools being ranked best in the nation. We then provided the parents with important dates for applications, open houses and information on schools that might fit the student’s interests, and we offered to be a mentor to help guide them through the process. If they agreed to us as a mentor, we set up a date to meet to go into more detail about the process. Some families filled out the application themselves, but for most of my families, I did the application alongside them.
What was your favorite part about being an advisor?
My favorite part was being a mentor. Seeing the excitement from the scholars and congratulating them on their accomplishments and hard work was just the beginning. In our profession, this is part of our job, but spreading the awareness of these programs to historically underrepresented students was that much more rewarding.
Do you have any favorite student success stories from last year?
My favorite success story was from one of my mentees whose family was unaware she qualified. She was never a part of any clubs, but she enjoyed acting. I remember getting a text from her mom with a picture of a quiz she was doing on her own, practicing theater terms to prepare for her interview. A couple months later, I received another text from her mom telling me that she had been accepted into the magnet theater program at Greiner and thanking me for my help.
Why should other staff consider becoming a School Choice Student Advisory Program mentor?
As educators, we want the best for our students, and their success is what makes our hard work worth it. You should consider becoming a mentor because you can be that factor to reach all of our students and help them discover and reach their maximum potential.