Dallas Can Academies, a nonprofit charter high school organization serving at-risk youth, recently honored businesswoman and mother Natalie Jenkins Sorrell at their 22nd Annual Motherhood: Lifetime Achievement Award Luncheon held at The Renaissance Dallas Hotel. The luncheon recognizes women who are active community volunteers and champions of children and benefits Dallas Can Academies. Gloria Campos served as Mistress of Ceremonies, and Dallas ISD Trustee Lew Blackburn gave the invocation.
Rhetta Bowers from State Representative Toni Rose’s office presented Sorrell with a Resolution from the Texas House of Representatives in honor of her commitment to education, family, and community. Sorrell, the Director of Investments for the Employees’ Retirement Fund (ERF) of the City of Dallas, spoke of the necessity that mothers have a strong network surrounding them. "It takes a village to raise a child and a mother,” said Sorrell. “Mothers also need help and support in their most important job."
High School Senior Ta’Liyah Edwards entertained guests with her heartfelt speech of overcoming adversity and excelling academically when a teacher believed in her. Nino Chavez graduated from Dallas Can Academies in 2014 and spoke of his continued volunteer efforts with the school and his ambitions of attending culinary school.
President and CEO of Texans Can Academies, Richard Marquez, concluded the luncheon with the surprise announcement that the newest Dallas Can Early Childhood Development Center, scheduled to open in September 2015, will be named in honor of Gloria Campos.
The proceeds from the annual fundraiser support more than 2,000 students working to earn their high school diplomas at the five Dallas Can high schools. The nonprofit believes helping these students receive a strong education is critical to breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty and illiteracy. The charter schools are tuition-free, open enrollment, public high schools of choice and are part of Texans Can Academies, which has eleven high schools across the state. Since 1987, more than 14,700 students have graduated from Texans Can Academies.