Garza receives Outstanding Homeless Liaison Award

Garza receives Outstanding Homeless Liaison Award

Estella Garza with her latest honor, the Outstanding
Homeless Liaison Award.

The District's Transitions Program director is once again in the spotlight for her work as an advocate for homeless students and their families.

Estella Garza is a recipient of the Outstanding Homeless Liaison Award, which was presented by the Texas Homeless Network, Region 10 Education Service Center and Texas Homeless Education Office at the Sept. 28 Texas Conference on Ending Homelessness.

“Estella Garza works tirelessly on behalf of kids in homeless situations in the San Antonio area,” said Barbara Wand James, THEO project director.

“Because of Estella's persistent advocacy, thousands of homeless kids in San Antonio have received the assistance they need to succeed in school,” she said.

“My goal for the years I've worked with SAISD is to enroll and keep children in school,” Garza said. “It does not matter what they come to school with (personal issues). They all have an unconditional right to a free and appropriate public education. As educators we all need to be prepared to connect our children with the various resources that help to remove their barriers.”

Garza's other most recent career highlights include:

An invitation from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to take part in a conference call this past May with school superintendents across the country where she provided information on services available to students in homeless situations.

Testifying before a congressional subcommittee hearing where she also shared some of the  District’s best practices.

Taking the lead in facilitating the San Antonio metropolitan area’s Unaccompanied Youth Task Force in preparation of the city's participation in a three-year project in collaboration with the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth.

Being featured in numerous online and print publications, including Education Daily.