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Daissy earning her diploma

The Carrollton/Farmers Branch Wee Can Academy has a special teacher in one of their classrooms. Daissy Rios recently graduated from Dallas Can Academy and is now enrolled at Eastfield College studying Child Development. Rios received the President’s Award from Texans Can Academies when she graduated January 2017.

“The President’s Award is presented to a graduate who has faced and overcome great obstacles,“ said Texans Can Academies Chief, Special Projects, Dr. Lew Blackburn. “The staff selected Daissy because she weathered many challenges, chose to remain in school and came out a winner.”

Wee Can Academy provides a safe, nurturing and educational environment for young children.   They are committed to being supportive partners with the families whose children are enrolled in their centers. The program enriches the lives of young children through play, social and academic activities. Many Dallas Can Academy students and staff members bring their non-school age children to Wee Can knowing the program will provide experiences that will stimulate the physical, emotional and cognitive growth of their children; while advancing their own lives and the lives of their families at the same time through education and career development.  It is also a huge benefit for the students and employees to have their children only steps away while they are in school or at work.

Rios works in the toddler classroom on the campus of her alma mater. Her natural teaching abilities will gain her traction in her degree and career field as she works to better the lives of the children she teaches. Rios sought a long-term, lasting solution for her future by earning a high school diploma and then taking steps to empower herself with an education and career path to support herself and her family.

Rios dropped out of high school at age 16 when she became pregnant with her first child. “I didn’t have anyone I trusted to leave my child with while I was in school so I dropped out of high school,” said Rios. “I saw a commercial for Dallas Can Academy and heard that they offered child care on the school campus for $10 a day if you were enrolled in school. I decided to visit and see if both the school for me and the environment for my children was what we needed.  After my visit, I enrolled myself and my three children right away.”

According to, 70 percent of all students who drop out of school early do so because of teen pregnancy. The dropout rate among pregnant teens is 90 percent across the United States. Fortunately the drop out rates among pregnant teens is beginning to decline thanks to assistance programs and flexible schedule schools like Texans Can Academies.  Each of the 13 Texans Can Academies campuses offer half-day programs to accommodate students who need to also work while they attend high school. During the past year, 2,763 students graduated from Texans Can Academies across the state. Last month, 917 students received their high school diplomas from Texans Can Academies schools.

"It is very rewarding to see a student who benefitted from Wee Can to now be building a career from her experience," said Carol Wentworth, Director of Child Care Operations. "Nothing makes me more proud than to see someone whose life we touch, now improving the lives of others."

Rios enrolled at Dallas Can Academy Carrollton/Farmers Branch campus as soon as she confirmed that they offered exceptional, low cost childcare to their students. She was able to earn her diploma with one-on-one help from her teachers to catch up in academics, while her children were in the adjacent building attending Wee Can. She now works at the Carrollton/Farmers Branch Wee Can Academy center, just a few steps away from her children’s classrooms, while earning her associates degree in Childhood Development. She plans to go to nursing school to become a pediatric nurse.

Rios earned her diploma from Dallas Can Academy January 28, 2017 which she attributes to teachers who helped her in and out of the classroom, tutored her individually during summer school and never let her give up on her dreams of creating a better life for her family.


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