"My former student brought along a note that I had written twenty years earlier listing everyone who had signed up for our field trip...until [then], I had no idea of the impact this TAME field trip had on those kids.Now, they're all thriving professionals who feel a responsibility to pay forward the opportunity that they were given."
Dixie Ross is a high school teacher, a TAME Club sponsor at Pflugerville High School, and a 2011 Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. For over 30 years, she has taught mathematics, including Advanced Placement Calculus, to students who come primarily from low-income, rural, and minority backgrounds.
What kind of impact do TAME programs have on your students?
Recently, at a breakfast for TAME leadership, I was proud to sit with one of my former members who is now a TAME corporate sponsor. He became a father and a husband during his sophomore year of high school. Most people would have written him off as a lost cause... Through our TAME chapter, though, he was given the opportunity to visit Prairie View A&M University and his eyes were opened to other options and higher aspirations.
My former student brought along a note that I had written twenty years earlier listing everyone who had signed up for our field trip. As the only TAME member with a car, he was responsible for picking up his classmates early on Saturday morning and delivering everyone to the school where we would all catch the bus. Over breakfast, he told us that that trip was the first time that he and his friends had ever been on a college campus. For impoverished black students from a rural area where very few people pursued higher education, it was a life-changing experience. Of the eight students who went that day, seven now have college degrees and the eighth is still working towards his. Until I heard that story, I had no idea of the impact that TAME field trip had on those kids, now all thriving professionals who feel a responsibility to pay forward the opportunity that they were given.
What's so special about TAME?
When people think of mentorship, they often think of a one-on-one relationship. Those relationships are fostered though through organizations like TAME which brings people together and allows us to have a greater impact collectively than we would individually.
Dixie's former student is now the Director of Business Development at a global defense, security and advanced technologies company, as well as a husband, father, and teacher.
Your contributions to TAME help put kids from rural Texas -- and all over the state -- on the road to success. Join us in making sure our resources stay free for all at tame.org/donate.