The Blueprint

MBK Houston Movement

"The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today."

~H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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HISD's New Superintendent and the MBK Whole-Child Recovery Assistance Program (WRAP) Network

MBK received a verbal endorsement from HISD's new superintendent, Dr. Richard Carranza. He said, HISD must continue our work with MBK Houston to build safety nets for our children who struggle with more than just academics. He believes that wraparound services are critical to building equity for kids that are homeless, hungry, are in need of clothes, and other social and emotional necessities.


Dr. Carranza was a former teacher and can attest to the fact that many teachers can address some of the issues children face but the majority of schools need help beyond the school district's resources to assist kids cope and overcome these challenges.


Noel A. Pinnock, I MPA, CPM, IPMA-SCP

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MBK Forum for Latino Young Men and Boys in Search of Justice Overview

My Brother’s Keeper Houston (MBK), in partnership with The University of Houston – Downtown (UHD) and Arte Publico Press (APP) hosted the Latino Young Men and Boys in Search of Justice: A My Brother’s Keeper Forum on Friday, September 30th at UHD. The event, inspired by an APP book of the same name, featured renowned authors and activists Luis Rodriguez, Javier Huerta and Albino Garcia.



Rodriguez delivered the event-opening speech which touched on the importance of events like the Forum, the need for positive adult mentors and for cultural centers and the arts. From the opening session, attendees moved to one of two tracks for the remainder of the event: Youth and Practitioner.

Youth Sessions

Using Luis Rodriguez’s opening speech as a starting point, 133 middle and high school youth attendees engaged in conversation with table facilitators on the topics of identity and perceptions of young men of color.

  • Youth share-out highlights:

    • “I matter to my family, my school, and my community”

    • “I know I’m not part of the group they talk about, because I know who I am”

    • “We need to be aware of our own biases. Nobody is bias-free but we need to be aware of them.”

Practitioner Sessions

Houston-area practitioners Dr. Crystal Belle (UHD) and Charles Rotramel (Houston ReVision) presented on the impact of “Zero Tolerance” school discipline policies on young men of color. Albino Garcia (La Plazita Institute) gave an overview of his work in Albuquerque engaging youth, elders and communities in a comprehensive, holistic and cultural approach. Dr. Anita Wadhwa (YES Prep) co-presented with her students on youth-led Restorative Justice Circles as an alternative to exclusionary discipline in a school setting.

By the Numbers

  • 130+ students (representation from Middle School, High School, and College)

  • 70+ practitioners (educators, social service providers, activists, and authors)

  • 200+ books donated to students and practitioners

  • 18 volunteer discussion facilitators engaged with youth


*All attendees received copies of Arte Publico Press books. Youth attendees received copies of Latino Young Men and Boys in Search of Justice: Testimonies, while attendees in the Adult/Practitioner track received copies of Overcoming Disparity: Latino Young Men and Boys.

MBK Houston Youth Advisory Council on Motor Vehicle Safety 2
Click below to view more important messages from the MBK Youth Advisory Council

From the Foundation - Barbara Bush Literacy Connection - Dr. Julie Baker Finck at the Groomed for Literacy launch at Scenic Woods Library

"We joined the Houston Public Library and several other organizations, including our Young Professionals Group, in kicking off Groomed for Literacy, an initiative to place Little Free Libraries in barber shops across our city so that boys can have access to books to read and barbers can become their reading mentors. Everyone can do something to help create a culture of reading, and we are so grateful that barbers in low-income communities have committed to this effort. School districts, library systems, child care providers, elected officials, city government agencies, nonprofits, corporations, health and medical providers and faith organizations are all recognizing that they can be a part of the solution to Houston’s literacy crisis and are taking action. It is humbling to see so many individuals and groups supporting the literacy cause."
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Read the testimony from Ronald Wilson a member of the MBK Youth Advisory Council; Published by The Kinder Institute

Houston's Opportunity: Reconnecting Disengaged Youth and Young Adults to Strengthen Houston's Economy

Opportunity Youth and Young Adults are defined as individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither attending school nor working. Despite the country’s gradual economic recovery following the recent recession, these youth represent an often overlooked segment of society. Many have dropped out of school. Still more finished high school but had few options awaiting them. Barriers like criminal records and a lack of skills, experience or even transportation often work against their best intentions. Here are some stories about Opportunity Youth and Young Adults in Houston who have been struggling with obstacles such as family responsibilities, financial instability, teen pregnancy, lack of support from parents and teachers, etc.

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Exciting Change to Eligibility Process for Children & Adolescents by the Harris Center for MHIDD

As part of The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD's efforts to better meet the needs of our community, we are happy to announce that children and adolescents 3-17 years of age are no longer required to visit the Eligibility Center in order to access our services. They may simply walk-in, with a parent/legal guardian, to our Southwest Children's Clinic during regular business hours.

To obtain services for children and adolescents 3-17 years of age, please follow these steps:

  • Parents/legal guardians may call The Harris Center's 24-hour HelpLine at 713-970-7000 to obtain information on services available and required documentation and paperwork needed to assess eligibility for services. While this step is not required, it is highly encouraged in order to ensure that the intake process at the clinic flows as smoothly as possible.
  • Parents/legal guardians should bring their children and/or adolescents for whom they are seeking services to The Harris Center's Southwest Children's Clinic located at 9401 Southwest Freeway, 4th floor, Houston, 77074, during regular business hours from 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Monday-Friday. No appointment is needed, and walk-ins are processed until daily slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

This change allows those seeking services to complete the eligibility process and be seen by our clinical staff at the first meeting rather than requiring a separate appointment to begin receiving treatment.

As always, please call The Harris Center's 24-hour HelpLine at 713-970-7000 should you have any questions regarding this process or anything related to the services provided by The Harris Center.

The Reach Higher and Better Make Room Teams would like to share important College Access Tools

Better Make Room is the First Lady's campaign to directly reach underserved, college-aspiring youth. It targets Generation Z (ages 14-19) to celebrate students, change the national conversation, reach students directly where they are, and give them a space to express themselves while navigating the college-going process.


UpNext is Better Make Room's new college support tool announced by the First Lady. It gives high school and college students, parents, and school counselors across the country access to free personalized support on all things college including help with their college search and applications, federal student aid, even student loan repayment – all through texting. Students can text COLLEGE to 44044 to start receiving information.


FAFSA: Starting this year, the FAFSA is available on October 1st, giving students additional time to meet most deadlines and explore and understand their financial aid options. The FAFSA is available at https://fafsa.ed.gov/.


College Scorecard: The College Scorecard is an interactive website that provides the clearest, most accessible, and most reliable national data on college costs, graduation rates, typical debt levels, and post-college earnings so that students can make the most informed choice possible in selecting a good-value college. Check out the College Scorecard website <https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/> .

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UEA recently hosted an Aviation S.T.E.M. Spring Break and Summer Camp at Sterling Aviation High School, where students learned about aircraft dynamics, airport safety, various careers, drone technology and received great mentoring from our handpicked volunteers as well! Being able to partner with local nonprofits, schools and businesses provided many unique experiences the students will not soon forget. Programs like these, that are engaging, consistent, authentic, modern and state-of-the-art can be quite successful not only in densely populated urban communities, but rural areas nationwide!


UEA will partner with another local nonprofit and put a team of diverse teenagers together to compete in the National Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Championships - and win! We are working with an aviation education group to take ten (10) local students to New York for one week to experience aviation operations specific to that region of the United States. Just as notable, UEA is scheduled to host the first ever Aviation S.T.E.M. Week and Summit in Anchorage, Alaska from June 13 - 17, 2017 working with their local aviation and business leaders on this historic feat!


UEA is still in need of funding for transportation, standard polo uniform shirts (Citywide Aviation Club), drone Do-It-Yourself build kits and donations for lunches while out on field trips.

The link to donate directly is: UEA Thanks You for Your Donations!

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SAVE THE DATE: Mentoring to Medicine - November 5, 2016

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Join the MBK Houston Movement

MBK Houston does not exist independent of partnership, whether in the community or through individual volunteers. We strongly encourage you to ask your business partners, colleagues, and friends to take the MBK pledge and sign up to become a MBK volunteer by clicking here or copy and paste the URL below in your web browser.


Link: http://www.mbkhouston.org/volunteer/

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Become a School Based Mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters and MBK Houston

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MBK Houston Community Engagement Events (YTD)

MBK Assessment, Intervention, and Mobilization (AIM) 2016 Engagement

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High-touch Community Engagement Events

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Mayor Turner's MBK Summit 2016

Mayor Turner’s MBK Houston Summit took place September 9, 2016 at The Legacy Room at City Hall. Mayor Turner invited over 160 community stakeholders from the for-profit, non-profit, faith based and government sectors to attend this inaugural event in which he announced his commitment to the success of MBK and issued the charge to all citizens to “fill the potholes in the children of Houston lives”. If anyone is interested please share with others and visit www.mbkhouston.org/commitment
Mayor Turner at My Brother's Keeper Summit