Reading and writing are essential to thriving and surviving in society; the ability to write and read become the gateways to knowledge and opportunity that are only accessible to those with the ability and desire to learn and interpret them. Without the strong foundation of literacy skills, children are more likely to struggle throughout their education, live in poverty and see their potential hampered. In the Settegast area where we work, numerous barriers prevent students from embracing the literacy skills available to them and as a consequence, they do not thrive.
Lack of quality educational resources, minimal access to age-appropriate books, overworked, insufficiently trained teachers and overstretched infrastructure are just a few systemic issues that need to be dealt with. We work in concert with parents, the school system and with directly with the families of our program participants to assist schools address the specific challenges they are facing and ensure students have what they need to develop strong literacy skills and reading habits.
Impacting Houston, Inc. embraces a Hands On Mentoring Experiences with our Youth (H.O.M.E.Y), at its core, the program assures young people that there are responsible, successful adults that care about them. The initiative assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day issues and it reinforces the ideology that they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, spiritual and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects our program participants to personal growth experience of self-discovery and inter-personal development, as well as social and economic opportunity, both inside and outside of their community.
Impacting Houston, Inc. is authoring and developing a community-based alternative education program that provides job training and educational opportunities for at-risk youth ages 16-24. Youth are screened and given the opportunity to participate in on the job training opportunities in several disciplines including, construction, cooking, small retail business operations, automotive and skilled labor. Youth split their time between the physical sites and the classroom, where they learn about the social and vocational skills to participate in the workforce.
Our program is designed to address two main issues at the family-unit level – physical activity and nutrition choices. Our thrust involves the promotion of programs that build health minds, spirits and bodies; we do this through the promotion of activities that promote healthy brain activity, encourages physical activity and burns excessive energy. The promotion of these healthy active lifestyles inspire an early love of sports and fitness that will serve as the foundation for a healthy way of life. By offering increased opportunities for physical activity among children, we hope to not only make the process fun and engaging, but to further provide the framework to help children build positive relationships, self-confidence, independence and the ability to deal with adversity through good sportsmanship.
Our community initiatives lend themselves to giving back to those that have so generously supported our organization. We participate in community cleanups, volunteer works for homeless initiatives, clothing drives and service to our senior citizens.