Bureau of Youth & Adolescent Health

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"Effective leadership is about making others better as a result of your actions and making sure the impact lasts in your absence!"

-Author Unknown

Flashback Friday

Last Spring our Bureau Chief Noel Pinnock was feature on Comcast's Newsmaker and he discussed the enormous challenge that youth are facing and what is being done to address it. Watch it again below!

MBK Alliance to Become the Initiative of the Obama Foundation

"Former President Barack Obama has followed through on a major part of his lifelong goal to help the country achieve greater racial and social justice: closing the opportunity gap for boys and young men of color. The Obama Foundation, a nonprofit organization set up by the former president and first lady with the expressed goal of improving civic engagement, will now include as a core initiative the My Brother's Keeper Alliance."

-By Anne Branigin, News Fellow for The Root

"By joining forces, MBK Alliance and the Obama Foundation will be better equipped to meet the goal so fundamental to the lifelong vision of President Obama - an America where all children can reach their full potential no matter who they are or where they come from."

-MBK Alliance Newsletter October 2017

Read More

My Brother's Keeper Forges ahead with Obama and Despite Trump

Former Cabinet secretary and now chair of the MBKA, Broderick Johnson shared his voice on Cape Up with Jonathan Capehart stating "I can't get caught in the cynicism." He would not engage in criticizing other administrations all the while understanding there is no god in comparing the two White Houses. He was "not going to get into that." However he did get into the movement that has driven into the hearts and many people across the nation. My Brother's Keeper. "I think that’s where we especially have to be vocal, and we have to use data to point out where these disparities and these challenges are so that people understand it.”

Johnson talks more about his work at MBKA and how much young people miss the Obamas. “Sometimes we just have to work hard, not twice as hard, but work real hard and demonstrate our intellect and to be bold,” Johnson said.

Obama Foundation Summit

Bureau Chief Noel A. Pinnock will attend president Barack Obama inaugural foundation summit in Chicago, in an effort to position Houston as one of the first MBK implementation cities. This will enable Houston to take the lead in informing our community of practice with a strategic focus in building ladders of success for our most vulnerable youth, particularly boys and young men of color. The Obama Foundation has sponsored two MBK Houston youth to attend: Elvin Quioto, freshman at Prairie View A&M and MBK High School Intern as well as Julia Huynh, graduate student at Texas A&M School of Public Health who was employed with MBK from Hire Houston Youth 2017. (Check out their bios under Milestone 4!) Council member Jerry Davis will also attend.
Sign up to Watch & Engage

You can be a part of the Obama Foundation Summit Oct 31-Nov 1 from anywhere. Sign up to get the latest updates, live stream schedule, and opportunities to participate virtually as soon as they are announced.

Milestone Snapshots

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Harlem Children's Zone in Support of Houston Basics

Deputy Director Judy Harris, Assistant Director Decrecia Limbrick, representatives from the Houston Children’s Museum and University of Houston participated in the Harlem Children’s Zone practitioners institute with hopes to implement early childhood strategy that support Houston Basics throughout MBK Houston collective impact collaboration and continuum of care model.

Pre-K is 'The Most Important Year'

The Most Important Year, Suzanne Bouffard's latest book covers what every new parent should know when it comes to learning "what a quality pre-K program should look like." This book is based on her time in classrooms observing teachers, good and bad, and gives and gives insider tips on choosing the right program. Here are a few things she mentioned on what makes a successful program:
  1. Teach children to learn to be learners, how to be curious, how things work, and find answers to problems
  2. Hands-on experiences and opportunities for children to learn about things that apply to their lives
  3. Engage children in rich conversations and ask open-ended questions, what they think and what they want to know
  4. Focus on things like self-control and behavior in class (how to wait your turn, share, deal with frustration and how to solve conflict.

Article Author Claudio Sanchez was able to gather some answers from Bouffard with questions that addressed dangers of "shaming kids to improve", getting away from "passive learning", letting children "construct their own learning", play versus academics and more.

Read Bouffard's responses here →

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Wainwright Reading MENtors

Our Community Organizer Frank Garcia assisted with this project to find Reading MENtors to participate. Their next reading session is coming up next week!
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Through Jordan's Eyes

Shadawn McCants, counselor for our ReDirect program, took it upon herself to share this video with us and could help us not only be more mindful of our daily interactions with children, but also serve as a point of reference when we create our own video stories. Watch below!
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"Walking Through Education" Festival

MBK Houston Youth supporting Councilmember’s Jerry Davis Backpack District B Fall Festival, themed Walking through Education, on Saturday October 21, 2017 at the Kashmere Multi-service Center.

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Momentum Academy Student Garden

On October 24, 2017 Bureau of Youth and Adolescent team member Tylor Kelly facilitated hands on training on how to grow your own garden to Momentum Academy students at Acres Home MSC. Mr. Kelly taught the students how to weed, water and plant seeds in the garden. The students were eager to learn about the different ways to maintain the garden. Mr. Kelly leadership, guidance and training earned him volunteers throughout planting and growing season. The students adopt the seeds that Tylor Kelly showed them how to plant and maintain them through until they are ready for harvest. Tylor has agreed to assist them during this time. Great Job!!!

Supporting the System of Care Practice in Schools

At Ron Brown College Preparatory High School in Washington, D.C. the students are treated like KINGS; all assumptions and stereotypes aside. In lieu of suspensions Ron Brown uses "Restorative Justice" instead. It is just one of many things that differentiate this new boys only public school. "The narrative says too many young black men are below-average readers. They'er suspended from school at above-average rates and less likely to graduate than any other group" Ron Brown College Prep is determined to make radical changes to that narrative in an effort to take in young boys and let them leave as men.

Read about some of the adults who made it a Reality

SW2AG Fest College Fairs at Wheatley HS and Sam Houston HS

The MBK Houston Educational Team hosted college Sw2ag fairs at Wheatley High School on Oct 10 and Sam Houston High School on Oct 12. A total of 1125 seniors and juniors attended the fest with over 60 college recruiters. With the help of school coordinators and 14 MBK Houston volunteers both events turned out to be a huge success!
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The Obama Foundation has sponsored two MBK Houston youth to attend former President Barack Obama Inaugural Summit. Elvin Quioto, freshman at Prairie View A&M and MBK High School Intern, and Julia Huynh, graduate student at Texas A&M School of Public Health, who was employed with MBK from Hire Houston Youth 2017, will represent the city of Houston in Chicago in October 2017. Read their full biographies below.

Elvin Quioto

My name is Elvin Quioto. I graduated from Worthing High School in Houston, Texas, 10th in my class with a 3.3 GPA. Currently, I am a freshman at Prairie View A&M University majoring in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. I am also fluent in Spanish. As a MBK Houston intern, I acquired a lot of new skills that have prepared me for the challenges and rigors of college. I am more likely to graduate on time and be successful due to the influence MBK Houston has had in my life. I love to swim and play soccer and believe it or not, I love to study. Good fortune and prosperity will follow me all the days of my life because of the huge deposits others have invested in me.

Julia Huynh

My name is Julia Huynh. I am the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants that came to United States many years ago. Both parents depended on hard work and perseverance for all their achievements and have engraved the same qualities in me as I was growing up. Academics have always been an important aspect of my life, and I was able to graduate as the salutatorian of my high school class. I continued to be a first-generation college student and graduated with Cum Laude honors in my undergraduate studies at University of Houston Clear Lake. I am currently pursuing my Master’s in Health Administration from the School of Public Health at Texas A&M University with a 4.00 GPA. Through my time interning and working for the Bureau of Youth and Adolescent Health of MBK Houston, I was able to work with many diverse members of the community and learn from their experience and knowledge. Within my time there, I was able to see the hard work dedicated to the community and its direct positive outcomes. Afterwards, I developed my professional goal to provide high quality health care to underserving areas and to those in most need. In my free time, I enjoy being with my family and working with children. I have experience volunteering at Texas Children’s Hospital in the “Sibling Playroom” of the NICU and working as an after-school counselor to elementary students.
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Path Finder's Presentations

On October 12, 2017 Bureau of Youth and Adolescent Health hosted presentations for Houston Pathfinders Immersion Initiative program. Each year BYAH invite several HHD staff to present on the overview of different Division's to speak on program services and credentials that's needed for the students field of choice. The purpose of Houston Pathfinders is to introduce high school seniors to municipal career opportunities. This initiatives have exposed over 11,100 youth to the world of municipal careers .In attendance were 25 seniors from Austin High School. BYAH appreciate HHD presenters Omar Salgado, Raul Castillo, Rhea Olegario, Whitney Harris, Meagan Canon, Thomas Johnson, Kellen Sweny, Christine Barron, and Don Shu.

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Youth Violence Prevention Coalition

Houston Health Department will partner with local housing complexes, small businesses, schools, nonprofits, community based organizations, government agencies, mental health, facilities Parks and Recreation, City of Houston, Houston Police Department, HISD, etc. to address the needs of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design(CPTED), as well as Youth dating violence and teen violence. We will partner with Teen and Police Service Academy (T.A.P.S.) and Fourth “R”, to speak to youth within our high incident areas about TDV and YV. A condensed version of the CPTED youth training curriculum will be integrated into the programming, which will include three hours of instruction and a final service learning project that coincides with existing service project dates for T.A.P.S. and Fourth R schools. During these sessions both an attitudinal and a Pre-and Post-surveys will be administered. The service learning projects will allow youth to work in concert with the Houston Police Department and our Youth Violence Prevention Coalition Partners (YVPCP).

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The program will address individual, family, peer and social, as well as community risk factors specifically in the areas of history of aggressive behavior, involvement in drugs and alcohol, exposure to violence and conflict in the family. Association with delinquent peers, and lack of economic opportunities. We will also address pertinent peer and social, family, and individual protective factors that contribute to student success.

The CPTED/ T.A.P.S. Program will consist of a minimum of five cohorts of 25 middle and High School students totaling 125 students during the school year. The officer to student ratio will be one officer to six students in an eleven-week session with the CPTED, YVP, and TDV portion taking place during a three-week period. The CPTED/ Fourth “R” program will be presented during a week of the curriculum as instructed by each individual school and will consist of up to 30 students with a 15 to 20 participating in the planning and execution of the service learning project.

Youth Violence Prevention Coalition, One Saves Two initiative (1S2) is a coalition comprised of area partners and youth whose mission is to Prevent youth violence/ Teen dating violence.

Know Your (Their) Rights Workshop

On October 10th, MBK Houston was featured at the Coalition Against Hate meeting for its work to present educator “Know Their Rights” Workshops. These workshops are done in partnership with Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative. They were developed for school-based staff to address the increased anxiety in schools about the topic if immigration. To date, 6 campuses have been given the workshop with 200 educators empowered affecting approximately 3,800 students and their families.

The Education Team coordinated facilitation of “Know Your Rights” training for Fleming Middle School teachers and administrative staff, where Immigration attorneys provided insight to educators to increase their knowledge of immigrant rights, responsibilities and area services so that we can better serve and support students and families in their respective communities.

DA Ogg Announces Community Action Plans

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg organized a Transition Team that is broken down into special committees who identified issues, reviewed data' and made recommendations. The Transition Team is made up of a diverse population with participants like Police Chief C. O. Bradford, MBK Community Organizer Frank Garcia and more; including small-business owners, lawyers, grass-roots activists, former law-enforcement officers, health-care providers, academic professors, and judges.

“Direct community engagement is crucial to building trust between the district attorney and the people,” Bradford said. “Harris County will be a safer place and Kim Ogg will be a better district attorney as a result of her genuinely seeking participation from the community.”

Our very own Community Organizer Frank Garcia has formed with DA Ogg as a member of the Officer Involved Shootings/Civil Rights Committee. View the original article for Community Action Plan PDFs.

Read the Community Action Plan Announcement

Disaster Relief

MBK Houston Food Drops

In collaboration with the Houston Food Bank (HFB) we helped to secure locations for non-perishable food supplies to be dropped off twice a week for a month at 5 locations and counting! There has been a huge influx of donated food supplies that the HFB needed help with distributing to families all across Houston. We have just completed the full month and assisted families with children attending Scroggins Elementary, Bruce Elementary, and Clifton Middle School. We are preparing new sites beginning next Tuesday at Wheatley High School and Fleming Middle School. View the pictures below from our first three sites.

Mom and Children's Day Out!

Education Chief Kristi Rangel wanted to share pictures from day out for a group of moms and their children who were being housed at the now closed Greenspoint Shelter.

MBK Houston, the Mayor’s Office of Education, the Children’s Museum and Save the Children worked together to coordinate a free 1/2 day at the Children’s Museum and dinner at El Tiempo on Washington, this past Sunday, October 22nd. The families had a wonderful time and were grateful for all the 1st experiences for them all. [She] hope [the organizations] enjoy the pictures and know how awesome [their] work is. We are even more outstanding when we work together!

Please note all the families have found housing and Save the Children has committed to staying with them in their journey to recovery. Their info has also been shared with our parent HDD, Houston Health Department, to see how they may also give support.

Disaster Assistance Info for Non-Profits and Constituents

All groups impacted by Hurricane Harvey with damage, preparation/cleanup costs and loss of income should apply to the FEMA Public Assistance Program.

Follow Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs for updates

"FEMA may not pay for all your losses, but is is important that ALL of your losses be documented in claims so changes to them can be considered and advocated for." Harvey Arts Recovery created an article to help those on the Facebook community by gathering claims filing information with very helpful tips such as:

  1. Information You Must Have To File a Claim
  2. Filing Your FEMA Disaster Assistance Claim
  3. Filing your Claim for Disaster Unemployment Assistance
  4. Regarding Insurance Claims
  5. Getting Help/Asking Questions/Completing Claims

View the Full Article and Tips

The Harvey Arts Recovery Fund (HARF) supports the disaster recovery needs of the Greater Houston arts, culture and creative community in the 10-county region of Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Brazoria, Galveston, Liberty, Waller, Chambers, Austin and San Jacinto. HARF was launched by a group of area nonprofits concerned about individual artists and small- to mid-sized arts and cultural organizations in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The collaborative launched a website to accept donations and provide disaster recovery resources. For more information, visit

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men

Tuesday, Nov. 14th, 10am

1700 Gregg St. Houston, TX 77020

You are cordially invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men

ONE Houston HISD School Board Runoff Forum

Thursday, Nov. 16th, 6-8pm

50 Waugh Drive

Houston, TX

ONE Houston understands that an informed public is powerful. Join us for an evening with the candidates in the HISD School Board runoff election to learn about where they stand on issues directly impacting HISD students. We will be asking the candidates to commit to supporting our immigrant, refugee, undocumented students, families, and colleagues.

There are currently 19 HISD School Board Trustee candidates running in HISD Districts 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9. Five out of the 6 races will likely go into runoff elections because there are more than two candidates running for each seat.

Through this public forum, we hope to secure commitments from the HISD school board candidates who - if elected - will have the power to change the current reality for kids in HISD.

Clean Slate Cooperative "Expunction/Sealing/Non-Disclosure"

Friday, Nov. 17th, 10am-2pm

4802 Lockwood Drive

Houston, TX

Clean Slate Cooperative is a collaboration between Harris County

Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis and the Earl Carl Institute’s Juvenile

Justice Project. In partnership with My Brother’s Keeper Houston, Beacon Law, Lone Star Legal Aid, Juvenile and Capital Advocacy Project at the University of Houston Law Center. Participants will obtain free legal assistance in obtaining sealing, expunction, and non-disclosure of criminal records. Life-skills, housing, and employment partners will be available to assist participants with wrap-around services.

Follow Us @MBKhouston for more updates

The Houston Health Department's Bureau of Youth and Adolescent Health is here to serve youth, adolescents, parents, communities, and businesses in the greater Houston area.