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5 Ways to Show Up for Students This Holiday Season

Think of someone who supported you growing up. They could be a teacher, next-door neighbor, parent, mentor, family friend, or coach. Whoever they are, when you look back on time in school, the people who showed up for you and believed in you stay with you long after a diploma.

That’s certainly the case for Drew Dubcak, a school counselor and mentoring volunteer. Her first-grade teacher, Ms. Stevenson, instilled in her a love of learning.

“She made school fun and was a “you can be anything you want to be” kind of teacher,” Drew says. Fifteen years later, Drew returned to Ms. Stevenson’s classroom—this time to learn how to be an effective teacher. “She became a mentor to me, letting me go into her classroom,” Drew says. “I got to see what it’s like to be a strong role model for young kids and not only be a teacher but have a lasting impact.”

Drew believes that showing up is key to having impact on students, much like Ms. Stevenson has done for her. “You have to be someone who sticks around, because what impact are you going to have on a kid’s life if you take off?” Drew began mentoring Tabitha six years ago, which she was in the sixth grade. Now, she’s a junior in high school, beginning to plan for college. By consistently showing up, Drew has established a close bond with Tabitha and says she’s taught her a multitude of life lessons along the way. “You learn a lot from your mentee,” Drew says. “It’s more of a privilege to be in their life than it is for you to be theirs.”

At APIE, we’re privileged to impact the lives of hundreds of Austin ISD students each year through our programming, but none of this would be possible without YOU! Here are five you can show up for students:

1. Donate to support our work. Consider giving in honor of an individual who showed up for you when you were a student. Even small gifts can add up quickly!

2. Run and/or fundraise for our Austin Marathon team. Whether you’re a runner or not, we’d love to have you sign up for our team, spread the word, and fundraise with us! We’re happy to share tips and templates to help make this easier. When we hit certain numbers of runners and donations, we become eligible for more money as part of the Austin Gives Miles Charity Chaser program. To learn more, email our development coordinator, Rachel Thomson, at rthomson@austinpartners.org.

3. Tell your family, friends, and network about APIE. Help increase awareness about the work we do by sharing our mission with those in your work and personal circles. We’re always looking to get connected with the Austin community, so we also appreciate introductions to potential supporters, volunteers, sponsors, or donors.

4. Show support on social media. Liking, commenting, and sharing our posts on social media helps increase the number of people who see our posts and learn about our work.

5. Volunteer with us. If you aren’t already, volunteering is a great way to turn your passion for students into meaningful action. Just an hour of your time each week makes a big difference for Austin students. Have questions or just want to learn more? Visit our website or email our volunteer recruitment coordinator, Ashley Yeaman, at ayeaman@austinpartners.org.

This holiday season, we hope that you’ll show up for the causes and people you care about. Consider giving to APIE—whatever that looks like for you—in honor of the people who have showed up for you. We also encourage you to share with us on social media your person and how they impacted you. Tag us @austinpartners and use the hashtag #APIEshowsup. Together, we can ensure that caring individuals like Drew are showing up to support Austin students!

Post by: Rachel Thomson, Development Coordinator, and Ashley Yeaman, Communications & Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator

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