My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Houston is ready to engage more boys and young men of color than ever before. This is the program’s fifth year of helping Houston youth of color succeed academically, socially, emotionally and financially. A million-dollar grant from a Houston-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) export company, Freeport LNG is paving the way for MBK to have a positive impact on more children in our city.
“My Brother’s Keeper Houston is preparing young men of color to become leaders of the future and take our city to the next level,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “MBK partners with other community groups, agencies, and local schools to give participants a strong foundation. The ultimate success of this program will depend on Houston businesses and individuals providing financial support through grants and donations like the one awarded by Freeport LNG,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
Houston-based, Freeport LNG has awarded $1,000,000 grant over five years to MBK through the Houston Health Foundation. The money is being used to further the program’s mission and allowing them to provide resources and services to more boys and young men of color. The first $200,000.00 has already been put to work by the Houston Health Department team for the 2020/2021 school year.
“Freeport LNG is pleased to help advance the work of the Houston Area Chapter of My Brother’s Keeper and the Houston Health Foundation. We support its mission and we are confident that the organization is well positioned to manage this investment in the best possible way to advance people of color,” said Wendy Mazurkiewicz, Director Community Affairs, Freeport LNG. “At Freeport LNG, we are committed to empowering people to raise themselves up through investments in education, health, community, safety and quality of life initiatives. Our partnership with the Houston Health Foundation helps us and the community achieve that.”
Most of the funds are earmarked for scholarships that current MBK participants and alumni will be able to use for post-secondary education and training including two- and four-year degree plans at colleges and universities. It can also be used for workforce training programs such as truck driving certification, HVAC air conditioning and barber/beauty licenses. Some of the funds will help pay for college prep test fees, application fees, books and supplies required for completion of training programs, and certification exam costs.
Technology is another major component of the grant since it’s extremely difficult to achieve success without easily accessible computers or internet. Funding will be used to help participants with job readiness training, resume writing and job searches. Twenty WIFI-enabled laptops will be acquired by MBK’s ReDirect program that provides intensive case management for youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system and referred to HHD from the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department.
MBK Houston continues to fulfill its goal in reaching young men of color in Houston. The Freeport LNG grant is needed to remove barriers for MBK program participants to access education and career development resources toward being productive adults