VOLUNTEER

Below is a list of volunteer & mentorship opportunities available in Houston. 

Youth in the Criminal Justice System

March 19, 2018

Eight Million Stories provides comprehensive support to previously incarcerated youth, helping them stay out of prison and on a path to success.

The Challenge

Young people, especially young men of color, are disappearing—from schools, from communities, from the workforce. Fueled by zero tolerance policies and in-school policing, the school-to-prison pipeline is sweeping disproportionately high numbers of youth into the criminal justice system. For many, it is the start of a lifelong cycle of poverty and imprisonment: Juvenile offenders who lack support and employment prospects upon release often struggle to re-enter society and face a high risk of recidivism. 

Our Vision

We believe young people belong in school, not in prison. 8 Million Stories is an alternative education program that seeks to upend the school-to-prison pipeline by supporting previously incarcerated youth as they re-enter their community and curbing unnecessary referrals from schools to the justice system. Working with local businesses and organizations, we will empower vulnerable youth to succeed in school and beyond through a holistic educational experience grounded in academics, vocational skills training and social-emotional development.

 

Our Students

 In our inaugural year, we will serve up to 40 students ages 16 and older who have experience with the juvenile justice system in Houston, Texas. Our program is completely voluntary, so students only enroll after opting in and confirming their commitment in a two-week on-boarding session.

8 Million Stories seeks to partner with individuals, businesses, organizations, and universities. We are especially interested in potential mentors, tutors, employers willing to hire our students, mental health providers, and funders. To become part of the work we’re doing in Houston, contact us. 

Strategic Community Organizing

March 19, 2018

Achieving concrete, measurable goals through outreach, mobilization, and research.

 

We're working to balance the scales of Justice through strategic community organizing through three campaigns: INMATE JUSTICE, POLITICAL JUSTICE, and ECONOMIC JUSTICE.  

 

1. INMATE JUSTICE #ProjectOrange

REGISTERING VOTERS BEHIND BARS

Our campaign aims to register eligible inmates and their family members during visitation.  This first-of-its-kind ambitious partnership between Houston Justice, the Harris County Sheriff's Department, and the Harris County Tax Assessor's Office will serve as a pilot as we expand moving forward.

 

Our campaign has three main issue areas:

  • Inmate access to Voting and Voter Registration

  • Improving Jail Safety and Standards

  • Diversifying the Grand Jury System in Harris County

    2. POLITICAL JUSTICE PROJECT

We seek Justice for the families of Jordan Baker, Sandra Bland, Alva Braziel, and the countless others who lost their lives to Police Brutality.  Our campaign will end mass incarceration by increasing the likelihood of success and ensuring fair treatment of those incarcerated at the Harris County Jail, increasing voter registration and voter turnout in marginalized communities, and holding elected officials accountable.

 

OUR CAMPAIGN HAS THREE MAIN ISSUE AREAS:

  • Increased Voter Registration and Voter Turnout in marginalized communities.

  • Electing/Re-Electing officials with a "Pro-Justice" doctrine.

  • Advocating for "Pro-Justice" policies at the city, school district, county and state levels.

 

3. ECONOMIC JUSTICE PROJECT

Booker T. Washington said:  

“Economic independence is the foundation of political independence."

 

In order for any community to truly have influence politically, or otherwise, they must be economically independent.  If truly independent, today's marginalized communities won't have to beg a school district not to close schools in their neighborhoods, their economic strength will speak before they have to.  When you look around the nation at which schools are closing, having programs shut down, and lack true resources, one common factor is economics.

When it comes to government contracts, African-Americans lack greatly when it comes to opportunities to do business with cities, school districts, counties, the state, and the federal government.

Through our Economic Justice Project, we'll push for more access politically and simultaneously prepare members of our communities to plant, grow, and own businesses.  From workshops for current business owners breaking down the complexities of the procurement process, to resume workshops for those wanting to join the workforce.

 

OUR CAMPAIGN HAS THREE MAIN ISSUE AREAS:

  • Increase the pool of Black and Brown businesses in Houston.

  • Moving policies/formal agreements that increase opportunity at the city, county, school district, state and federal level.

  • Uncover instances of unfair practices.

We're building momentum, but we cannot achieve our goals alone.

Student Athletes

March 19, 2018

Core Development will ensure student athletes the opportunity to enhance their skills both physically and mentally, to shape them into productive individuals of society. We will allow educators, trainers and former athletes to help give back to those who helped them, and better a student athlete's life. Our facility will allow student athletes the time to develop their skills both on and off the field in order to get a better education and to become well rounded and not solely focused on the sport they play.

Our Story

For many people, the hallmarks of success are identified  as wealth, power.  But we at Core Development, believe that being successful is more about setting and achieving goals while maintaining your character and integrity.  We believe that dreaming big is the first step in making success a reality.  Core Development works with families and students who desire to expand their knowledge, athletic ability and mental acuity to reach their potential.  We will help the athlete  gain confidence, enhance their sport specific skills and create a more positive outlook in life.  

 

At Core Development, we would like to redefine the meaning of success.  To do so, we have developed our three Core Principles:  

  1. Education is fundamental - We strive to build an athlete’s academic, social, emotional, and sport specific skills by comprising a diverse group of coaches, teammates  and mentors,to prepare them for the next level.  

  2. Sports increase exposure and promote opportunity - We will provide the best sports training possible with the focus to help each individual achieve their fullest potential.  All training will be performed by certified trainers as well as college athletes.  

  3. Mentors - We will provide mentors as a resource to the student athletes to help them with life skills and  difficult decisions. Mentors make up the backbone of the organization which provides  the support needed to help the young athlete navigate through their choices and discover the deeper meaning to what real success looks like. 
     

Objectives:  

Core Development will assist the athletes with

  • College preparation, developing strong social skills 

  • Tutoring  and community outreach programs

  • Developing good study habits, self-discipline, critical thinking, and strong communication skills, among other things.  

Our Commitment

Core development has an expectation that: 

  • All staff and athletes work together in a safe environment

  • Everyone  is treated with respect at all times.  

  • Each athlete receive  individualized attention 

  • All committed athletes assist in the development of personal and life goals

  • All athletes have a responsibility to strive for excellence in education 

 

Let’s take your life to the next level!

International Travel Experiences for Low Income Youth

March 19, 2018

WithinREACH is a nonprofit organization providing low income youth with international travel experiences.  These experiences will serve as the catapult for improved academic performance, social engagement and future career successes.

 

We Believe that every young person regardless of socio-economic background is capable, with the right support system, of achieving their greatest potential.

This program has been created in direct response to the growing number of young people living in low income areas and facing difficulty academically and socially. The goal of the program is to offer a support system which empowers our young people to make positive changes in their lives. 

We partner with Houston area Title I high schools whose mission is to develop global graduates who are academically and socially prepared to change the world.

We mentor low income high school students in the areas of academics, social engagement and cultural competency. 

We travel internationally, serving the local community, while developing cultural awareness, sensitivity and competence in our youth.

2018 Trip: Costa Rica 

 

What Will We Be Up To?

1. Serving the Local Community ​- Students will serve the local community by working on various volunteer projects including construction, meal distribution and tutoring.

2. Cultural Immersion ​- Students will engage in hands on learning experiences related to the rich history and culture of Costa Rica. These experiences include but are not limited to the areas of food, religion, politics and the arts.

3. Challenge & Adventure​ - Students will be challenged to push beyond their comfort zones by participating in various adventures such as hiking, zip-lining and white water rafting.

Through these experiences we believe that students will have a renewed sense of purpose and motivation in the pursuit of academic and personal achievement.

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