While attending the Dallas Motherhood Lifetime Achievement Award Luncheon benefitting the five Dallas Can Academy campuses, former Dallas Cowboy and current radio sportscaster, Babe Laufenberg, heard a moving story from graduating senior student Nadia Rangel about the obstacles she had to overcome in order to receive an education.
Laufenberg arranged a visit with a personal shopper at Nordstrom’s to help Nadia choose a dress and shoes for her graduation ceremony. He hopes others will be inspired to adopt a Dallas Can or Fort Worth Can senior and help them with graduation in some way. Most North Texas graduating high school seniors did not have to overcome the obstacles Nadia faced just to remain in school and earn her diploma.
After hearing Nadia’s story Laufenberg said, “I wanted to find a way to help her. It is my privilege to be able to offer some support and I hope others will jump on this opportunity to show teens in our community that good things come to those who don’t give up on themselves.”
Graduating June 10th from the Dallas Can Academy, Oak Cliff campus, Nadia made the choice to excel, even though many people didn't expect her to succeed. A drug addict and prostitute, her mother abandoned Nadia and her brother when they were young. She grew up in foster care when her mother lost her parental rights due to substance abuse and her father was in prison. Nadia found her father after his release from prison and knew she wanted to be with her family. But there were many challenges, so Nadia dropped out of school to go to work and help pay the family’s bills.
Nadia enrolled with Dallas Can after struggling in a traditional high school. The graduating senior credits dedicated teachers and school advisors who believed in her and pushed her to do her best in school
. “I know people care about my success in life,” said Nadia. “The education and the love I received at Dallas Can have helped me turn my life around.”`
Nadia’s self-confidence grew with her teachers’ consistent support and encouragement. After dropping out once, Nadia took her second chance at high school with Dallas Can Academy instead of letting her past define her. Before attending Dallas Can, no one extended a helping hand to Nadia and her brother. Laufenberg says that is why he wants to help her now, and he hopes others will help Dallas Can students as well.
After graduation Nadia is continuing her education through the El Centro College internship program. This program allows students to receive a higher education while at the same time work to earn money and experience that will put them ahead of the curve. Her upbeat personality and education will carry her through in the pursuit of her dreams.
Laufenberg signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 1989 to 1991. He was the lead sports anchor and sports director for KTVT television in Dallas from 1997 to 2015. Among many things, he continues to serve as a color analyst on the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network.
If you would like to help a Dallas Can Academy student, please contact Stephanie Lucero, development director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-944-1955.