The workshop will focus on college and career readiness and is Phase Two of a community and law enforcement effort to impact the lives of young people.
The city council recently voted an expenditure to fund implementation of The HOPE Initiative and its Beyond Change program that provides community engagement activities for youth and law enforcement to build trust and promote positive change through partnerships and community service.
The initiative also has a special connection with the National Football League’s Foundation Social Justice Grant Matching Program and the NFL Inspire Change Initiative.
Dr. Robert Harper, a native of Marietta, Texas, and a 1996 graduate of Linden-Kildare High School, is founder and CEO of The HOPE Initiative and executive director of Beyond Change.
Here is his personal letter to the public to explain and serve as an invitation. Details are at the conclusion of these remarks. Dr. Harper writes:
“As a result of our relationship with the Linden City Council and the funds they provided for first phase of our Beyond Change Social Justice Summit in July, we are headed into phase two to focus on the education and economic advancement of the Linden-Kildare students in our program.
“The cool thing about this opportunity is that we are going to offer a college and career readiness planning program for all the high school students. Any Linden-Kildare High School student that shows up on Saturday will get opportunity to go through a 2.5 hour workshop to identify their non-cognitive strengths, learning styles and personality type as well as matching careers.
“We’ll have community members, who serve on the Linden Together committee, to be there going through some of these exercises, too, so they can become college and career readiness mentors.
“We know in rural East Texas, often times the employment opportunities are limited. We’ll equip our young people with access to SAT and ACT prep tests. These programs will be available during the fall and spring semesters. We will expose the students to different career pathways and credentials required to gain employment in fields that best fit their attributes.
“In the next phase of our program, there will be a follow up workshop that will include police officer participation. We know that community and police relationships at the end of the day depend on community partnerships. Also data show that the more education a person has the least likely they are to commit a crime. Education is a tool to reduce poverty by giving people more career options that lead to better paying jobs. If you have better pay, you won’t have a need to go out and commit crime.
“An event like this college and career readiness workshop and the one to come on community and police relations can really have a positive impact on community engagement and advancement. We are excited to be able to offer this in Linden.
“In conclusion, here are two practical matters.
“We are looking for volunteers from the Linden community to participate as college and career readiness mentors. Contact Larry Allen at 469-534-0821 or [email protected] if you would like to assist us.
“We are also seeking donations to provide meals for all participants. It would be greatly appreciated if community and business leaders could donate gift cards, electronics or other items for door prizes.”
Freshman and sophomores are to attend 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Lunch will be served 11:30 a.m.
Juniors and seniors are to attend 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Lunch will be served 12:30 p.m.
Location L-K High School cafeteria
Sign up with Mrs. Stewart in Counselor’s Office
VISA gift card giveaway included