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Outstanding Alumni at IDEA Public Schools

From left to right: Jessica Gonzalez, Evelyn Saldivar, Arianna Izaguirre, Nidia Cavazos, Carlos Grosso, Magdalena Banda, Veronica Trevino, Leah Cabrera Marquez, Laura Lisa Salinas.

At IDEA, we do Whatever It Takes to ensure our students are prepared for the road to and through college. Once our students graduate from IDEA and matriculate to college, the support doesn’t stop. Our Alumni team connects with IDEA graduates after life at IDEA to provide support into college and beyond. We continue to be amazed by the accomplishments made by our alumni at their colleges and universities across the country. This year, we are thrilled to recognize nine outstanding IDEA Alumni for their accomplishments throughout, and after, their college careers.

Sari Wilson, Director of Alumni Affairs, and her team supplement the in-college support alumni receive to ensure they remain on-track to graduating in four years.  “We are so proud of the accomplishments of every IDEA alumnus, but want to especially celebrate our 2017 IDEA Alumni of Excellence Cohort,” said Wilson. “These individuals are excelling in the classroom, in addition to participating in philanthropic organizations, getting involved in the community, pursuing higher education, and dealing with the challenges that all college students face. We couldn’t be prouder of this cohort of alumni who continue to represent IDEA well.”

The 2017 Alumni of Excellence Cohort was nominated by IDEA teachers, principals, and IDEA employees. More than 50 alumni were nominated from across the district, and a panel of IDEA Headquarters employees anonymously selected these nine students for this recognition.

This cohort of alumni is achieving amazing things like attending law school at the University of Texas at Austin, teaching students from low-income communities through Teach For America, attending medical school at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, and returning to their hometown to teach a new generation of IDEA students, just to name a few.

While these individuals are all on different career paths and have a variation of goals, one thing that is certain is that they are breaking stereotypes and overcoming challenges to better their lives, and the lives of others. As Nidia Cavazos, an IDEA Donna Alumni of Excellence, put it, “I want to be a role model for my community by letting them know that the constant race for a dream never ends, and every step of the journey matters.”

Congratulations to the 2017 IDEA Alumni of Excellence cohort! Learn more about their accomplishments below and visit IDEA’s Facebook and Instagram throughout the week to see short clips of our alumni. To learn more about IDEA’s amazing alumni, visit


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