Volunteers mentor 400 Dallas ISD students toward success after graduation

January 6, 2016

With encouragement from eight-time Grammy Award winner Usher and Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, local volunteers will unite to inspire and prepare hundreds of Dallas high school students for success in college and careers after graduation. As a part of United Way’s community impact series ‘Unite for Change’ presented by Texas Instruments, more than 400 students from eight Dallas ISD high schools will participate in a College and Career Fair at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) on Wednesday, January 13. With help from Usher’s New Look and Chideo, The Charity Network, the fair will bring together students with nearly 100 volunteers from Texas Instruments, Fluor Corporation and Ricker Retirement Specialists, as well as service provider partners City Year and The Princeton Review Foundation.

The fair will kick off with a pep-rally to encourage and energize students, including a special interactive video message from Usher, a Dallas native. Dr. Hinojosa will also speak to students, motivating them to pursue their dreams of college and success in the workplace. After the rally, students will engage with volunteers during breakout sessions and experience a virtual tour of UT Dallas’ high-tech center for learning focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and a presentation about UT Dallas. The sessions will include curriculum designed to equip students to explore college paths and make smart career choices. Learning activities will offer students study tips and test-taking skills, tips to effectively use social media to gain jobs and college acceptance, tools to navigate career choices and course selections, personal presentation and interview skills, along with financial aid options.

“Education is critical to our community’s success, and we’re mentoring students today to help build skills necessary for their success and a vital North Texas region,” said Peter Balyta, president of TI Education Technology.  “We’re proud to partner with United Way to inspire these students’ dreams of college, career and a better future.  Together, we’re preparing the workforce of tomorrow.”

According to the UT Dallas College Readiness Update prepared in 2013, only 33 percent of local high school students who took the ACT or SAT scored at a college-ready level. As part of its 10-year community goals, United Way is committed to preparing at least 60% of all students to graduate high school ready for success.

“We’re empowering students with opportunities many never knew they had to create change in their own lives and in the communities where they live,” said Jennifer Sampson, President and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “United Way is committed to helping all students onto successful college and careers paths, inspiring them toward greatness.”

Sophomores and juniors from Molina High School, Thomas Jefferson High School, Spruce High School, and Roosevelt High School, as well as early college campuses Samuell High School, Garza High School, Lassiter High School, and Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Collegiate Academy will participate in the event.

“Usher’s New Look is dedicated to engaging disconnected youth to find a path to leadership and help them make career choices that match their passion,” said Yvette Cook, President of Usher’s New Look. “We’re proud to partner with United Way and its volunteers as we reach out to students where they are, mentoring and investing in their lives and futures.”

With TI as the presenting sponsor, the Unite for Change Community Impact Series consists of six volunteer events area wide focused on improving financial stability, education and health across North Texas. Unite for Change was created to engage many local corporate partners in meaningful volunteer projects over a six-month period. Supporting sponsor for this event is Fluor and project sponsor is Ricker Retirement Specialists. The projects will help reach United Way’s 10-year community goals: preparing at least 60 percent of all kids to graduate ready to succeed, moving 250,000 people out of poverty permanently, and improving health across the region.


 

About United Way of Metropolitan Dallas: United Way of Metropolitan Dallas brings people together to improve lives and create lasting change here in North Texas by focusing on education, income, and health – the building blocks for strong families and thriving communities. We galvanize and connect all sectors of society – individuals, businesses, non-profits, and government – to create long-term change through investing in solutions that produce healthy, well-educated and financially stable individuals and families. We raise, invest and leverage over $50M annually in community-focused solutions serving Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and southern Denton counties. We do more than help one person beat the odds – we are changing the odds for entire communities. Together, we UNITE FOREVER. To learn more, please visit UnitedWayDallas.org.

About Unite for Change: Unite for Change is a six-event area-wide Community Impact Series presented by Texas Instruments. The series engages effective local service providers who create real opportunities and get results through programs designed to help us reach our 10-year community goals: preparing at least 60 percent of all kids to graduate ready to succeed, moving 250,000 people out of poverty permanently, and improving health across the region.  Employees from current and prospective corporate partners will engage in relevant, rewarding and innovative volunteer opportunities, leveraging their collective power to address community challenges in education, financial stability, and health.

About Texas Instruments: Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, that develops analog ICs and embedded processors. By employing the world’s brightest minds, TI creates innovations that shape the future of technology. TI is helping more than 100,000 customers transform the future, today.  Learn more at www.ti.com.