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The Mayor’s Office of Education and Youth Engagement has been awarded a Leadership for Educational Equity Fellow for the second time in three years. The placement of an additional LEE Fellow in the Mayor’s Office solidifies the city’s commitment to ensuring every child in Houston has access to a quality education.

Spearheaded by the Mayor’s Office of Education and Youth Engagement, Houston was recently recognized as the first official Child Friendly City Candidate in the United States by UNICEF and is working to become the first official city to hold this designation. The placement of this fellow lends itself to the office’s goal of expanding and improving opportunities for Houston’s children, youth, and young adults that empower them from cradle to career. 

“The City of Houston is thrilled to receive another LEE fellow,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “These talented experienced educators with policy knowledge recognize that not all students have the opportunity to receive the education they need and deserve and by empowering them to engage civically on behalf of children in their communities, I believe we can achieve educational equity within our time.” 

While the name of the fellow has not been released, placement is based on matching the selected fellow with an office that has similar goals and projects that advance equity in the field of education. The offices’ first LEE Fellow, Sabastian Berry, was integral in developing distribution plans for resources aimed at providing relief to schools at the height of the pandemic. Sabastian later developed a school database to track and improve communication with local districts and schools.

“This endeavor has been transformative in that it strengthened the City’s direct communication with all 17 ISDs and a host of other campuses, and squarely aligns with our office’s goal of increasing community engagement around education,” Director Jankovska said. 

“The work of creating equity in education is far from over. Since joining the Office of Education in 2021, I’ve seen the City of Houston make great strides to close the equity gap in education,” Sabastian Berry said. “The incoming fellow will lead significant policy and advocacy projects to advance equity within the greater Houston area.”

The Mayor’s Office of Education and Youth Engagement boasts a diverse staff including a mix of fellows, interns, and permanent staff all aimed at empowering the children of Houston from cradle to career. In addition to these stellar individuals, the office conducts the Hire Houston Youth program which links thousands of Houston’s youth and young adults to internships and job opportunities in Houston’s dynamic economy.  

“This summer, LEE is excited to partner with the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Education and Youth Engagement. The summer fellowship is not only an opportunity for the fellow to contribute to meaningful work, but also a space for professional growth and development,” said Gloria Molina-Estolano, LEE’s Director of Policy and Advocacy Fellowships. “We are grateful for the city’s contribution to the development of a future policy and advocacy leader.”