EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A Washington-based nonprofit that promotes the love and appreciation of science has awarded a grant to an El Paso teacher.

Ramon Benavides, who teaches at Del Valle High School, received a $5,000 stipend from the Society for Science.

Benavides will serve as a lead advocate in the group’s program and also will lead a group of fellow educators.

He was one of 84 teachers around the country to be named to the nonprofit’s Advocate Program for the 2022-23 school year.

The Advocate Program recognizes and honors the “perseverance, hard work and fundamental role that teachers and mentors play in inspiring and supporting students who are our future STEM problem-solvers, critical thinkers and talent,” a new release stated.

Science advocates in the program will also “lead the charge by expanding opportunities and participation of students from historically underserved and underrepresented races or ethnicities and low-income households in independent science research and competitions,” the news release added.

Benavides said: “It is my passion to provide equitable STEM and science opportunities for underrepresented students in the El Paso, Texas/Borderland region. In the past three years, we have been able to develop an award-winning science fair program at our campus. Our campus went from a six-year science fair hiatus to sending four projects to the Texas Science and Engineering Fair, one of them being a finalist (for the first time).”

Benavides was named the 2022 Region 19 Secondary Teacher of the Year.