René Augustín was moved to be a role model from the very beginning. “My impact on the students is that seeing someone like them who grew up in the same neighborhood, who is part of the same community, who still visits his mom here on the weekends is very important.”
Now that the Ánimo Watts teacher is able to pass the same inspiration onto other educators, it is a matter of paying it forward. “Green Dot supported me in my growth in the classroom when I got here” he says.
The Project REAL residency recruits new and diverse teachers, and aims to prepare them and place them at Green Dot schools across Los Angeles. Over 15 months, participants earn a preliminary teaching credential and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. Built into this model is a mentorship and coaching component, as studies have found that teachers with little or no training leave the profession at twice the rates of teachers with comprehensive support. To ensure residents are supported and prepared to teach in our communities, Project REAL candidates are placed in a year-long residency with a trained master Green Dot teacher like Rene Augustin.