2023 Lifetime Service Award Winner
Wendy started her career with migrant in 2001. She has been a College Access Specialist, Counselor, Consultant for both ESC 16 and ESC 20, and currently serves as the Texas Migrant Interstate Program Manager.
Wendy is known for her work in AMET at the state level as she served as the Scholarship Chair from 2015-2019. One former colleague references Wendy as professional, passionate, and organized. She worked closely with Wendy over the years on the scholarship committee for AMET. Her tireless work served not only the state organization, but also the students who benefited from its scholarship program. She continued to say, “She has enthusiasm, determination, and an eye for detail. She is also a woman of character with strong integrity.”
Wendy continued to share her talents as she became the Regional Director for AMET from 2014-2016. Her planning skills helped her as Vice President of AMET in 2016. She was successful in planning the AMET Conference for 2017-2018 as President Elect. In 2019-2020 Wendy led theAMET organization as President. It was there that she was successful in launching one face to face conference and another virtual due to the pandemic. Wendy was also responsible for the success of the NationalAssociation of State Directors of Migrant Education National Conference as a dedicated member of the Planning Committee. As past president, Wendy was instrumental in helping the AMET organization stay focused on its purpose while cutting costs.
Her experiences with migratory families, students, staff across the state of Texas is evident in her history with those she met and made a difference in more ways than one. Wendy is known for her excellent customer service with our local LEAs. Her expertise in ID&R and TX-NGS is beyond reproach. Her commitment to helping districts is evident in the quick way she problem solves, coaches, and offers solutions to those who come to her.
One district recruiter, shared, “Wendy always makes us feel that it's OK to ask for help when in need of assistance, no matter how simple or difficult the question may be. She never ceases to amaze me at how quick she can think of a solution.
An administrator in a different district quotes, “Ms. Wendy Fort provides exemplary support to our staff, especially our new recruiters, and provides us quick feedback any time we need her assistance. She is helpful, caring, resourceful, and happy to offer service no matter the task. She advocates for our migratory children with superior knowledge and experience. She is a true champion for the Migrant Education Program in Texas and the rest of the country”.
A former migrant student quoted: “There are only a handful of people that have had a significant impact on my life, and you are one of them.You went above and beyond for me, and I could not have gotten to where I am without your help.” Wendy helped her navigate the trenches of high school, leading her to the West Texas A&M University on a CAMP scholarship.
Another former student mentioned, “I can honestly say the if it weren’t for her and the influence she had on me, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.”
Yet a different former migrant student said, “As a migrant student, college was just a dream for me and seemed impossible to reach. Wendy would explain the importance of education and how it was possible for us. Because of Wendy’s knowledge of opportunities for migrant students, I was able to attend the Bert CoronaLeadership Institute in Washington D.C.. ” In my family, I am the only one who completed high school. Before Wendy’s help, my family and I did not have knowledge about the college process. Wendy’s knowledge and skills helped me achieve the dream of completing high school and attending college.
Wendy has a heart of gold. She always listens to the call, walks with inspiration, and follows up with the necessary service needed to fulfill her role as a servant leader.The migrant world is better because we have had Wendy as a trailblazer.