Beyond Traditional Parental Involvement: FACE Father-Student Leadership Team Receives National Awards

Joe receives award

José “Joe” Rodríguez, and grandson Kristopher Rodríguez, are founding members of the FACE Father-Student Leadership Team (FSLT) which launched in 2009 and has won two awards from the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) at two NationalGEAR UP conferences.

FACE tapped the most involved families from a FACE program in Alice, Texas. The FSLT has demonstrated the capacity of a few dads and middle or high school students to have an impact promoting a college-going culture within and beyond their families and communities. Eventually, the FSLT included dads and students from Brooks CISD and Odem Edroy ISD.

The FSLT team is a form of intergenerational sustainability that is mapping a college-going culture in rural South Texas – and in Washington DC, San Francisco or Orlando! It leverages the strengths of fathers in such areas as math/science, the outdoors, work, work/community networking, leadership, and male role models.

The FACE FSLT gets the job done on campus, off campus, and outdoors. They facilitate hands-on activities in district and “interdistrict” events.  In addition, the FSLT has evolved into public speakers at state and national conferences. Kristopher, currently an All State Choir member, will sing if asked.

For their outstanding contributions, Joe received an NCCEP Parent Leadership Award in 2011. In 2012, Kristopher was selected “runner up” in NCCEP’s Youth of the Year competition, which included a $1000 college scholarship.

Kristopher, now an Alice HS junior, was a fourth grader at Salazar Elementary when Joe attended the first FACE activity. Over 8,400 dads, PK-12, signed-in to attend FACE events in Alice ISD from 2003 to 2009. They contributed at least 16,800 volunteer hours or the equivalent of 2,100 eight-hour workdays. The most attended FACE events were during the school day. An aligned Alice ISD administration funded FACE’s historic model with Title I and GEAR UP funds. Upon his retirement, FACE recognized Alice ISD’s Mr. Henry Herrera with a plaque as the “first superintendent to sustain a districtwide father/student partnership.”

Members of the original FACE Father-Student Leadership founding team are:

  • José and Kristopher Rodríguez
  • Wife Alicia
  • Arnold Carillo, Jr. and his children Nicole Marie, Arnold III and Xavier
  • Melba and Raul Villalpando and their children
  • Alexander and Elizabeth
  • James Dorsett and his son Christopher
  • Jesse García and daughter Jennifer López (started one year later)

Father-Student Leadership Team Program photos here.