For Xavier Wafer, being engaged in the education of his daughter – Akilah Ali, a fourth grader at Davis Elementary School – is a top priority. 

 “As parents, it is our obligation to be involved in our child’s education,” he says. “We are not going to be young forever. It’s a cliche, but it is true that children are our future. So we have to lay down the groundwork for them to follow through and build a better future.”

But between working nights and unsure of how exactly to become involved, Wafer admits he hasn’t always been involved. 

“I think there’s a fear, an intimidation,” he says. “Fear comes with lack of understanding. Once you understand something, that fear will go away. There may be sacrifice, but it will be worth it.”

For Wafer, part of that  understanding came through  the Path to College and Careers series, offered by the district’s Parent Education and Community Engagement department.

“The presentations and speakers really opened my eyes to the broad range of educational opportunities for my daughter in Irving ISD,” he says. “I want my daughter to have the best quality education. That’s the key – QUALITY education. And these classes taught me that it really does take a team for the success of a child. It’s not just the teachers, but also the parents, counselors, principals, people like the parent engagement department who provide the resources that I didn’t have a clue about. I am truly grateful to learn about so many resources offered by the district that we, as parents, often overlook.”

The spring 2022 series kicks off next Thursday, February 24. The free classes will be offered virtually through Zoom at 10 AM and 6 PM and cover a wide range of topics from how to support your child, what it means to be a well-rounded student, how to make your child more independent and more! The series will culminate with a college visit this April to Texas A&M University in College Station.

“We mostly have moms attend our classes, so it is always nice to have dads participating,” says Liesl Payne, Parent Education and Family Engagement strategist for Irving ISD. “Xavier was special because not only did he attend the classes, he was actively engaged in the classes. He always asked great questions and shared how important it was for him to be involved. His daughter is in the fourth grade, and he already understands that his involvement in her education can make all the difference in her future. That is exactly what our goal is for our PTCC classes; for parents to understand the impact that their engagement can have on their child’s path to college and career.”

To register for Path to College and Careers, visit