Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Delia Pérez ’97

When Delia Pérez ’97 graduated from high school in rural south Texas, only 30 percent of her classmates went to college. Now, with the help of Pérez and like-minded colleagues in the Edcouch-Elsa school district, that figure has risen to 70 percent. This statistic comes courtesy of fellow Texan Jenna Bush Hager (yes, that Jenna Bush), a Today Show contributing correspondent whose interview with Pérez aired October 22 with the title “Yale grad inspires young women.” The youngest of seven children of immigrant farmworkers, Pérez grew up in an area of the Rio Grande Valley that is 95 percent Latino and a school district that is the state’s third poorest. In high school, she helped establish annual trips to East Coast colleges to expand students’ hopes and horizons. She returned to Edcouch after graduating from Yale and is now associate director of the district’s Llano Grande Center, running an after-school program that Bush calls “an oasis full of opportunity and change.”

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