Spring is a season of renewal and growth, and so is it at the Foundation. Our work is growing and expanding. This year, with our current and emerging partnerships, we have the potential to reach over 1400 students throughout the city.
A mentor once advised me to surround myself with smart people. Not only did I follow that advice, I went beyond it. I surrounded myself with people who are smart, caring, and passionate about what they do. Our Founder, Board of Directors, Leadership Council and staff are all focused on our core mission of working with our community to expand opportunities for young people to learn, thrive, and succeed. It is important work and requires an approach that is smart, strategic, and measurable.
We close opportunity gaps during the time when school is not in session - the period of time when clear inequities emerge. These gaps are most evident in the summer months and after school period and in neighborhoods across Austin that are most underserved, where young people often do not have access to high-quality programs and supports.
This is why we embarked on expansion planning after launching a successful partnership with Pecan Springs Elementary in 2014. After two years, we have learned so much about our capacity to deliver high-quality summer learning programs and the need to support other organizations providing afterschool supports and activities.
This summer, we are proud to announce a partnership with the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) to enhance their summer programs in ten community recreation centers that are serving over 1200 students across our community. Through the Andy Roddick Foundation’s support, PARD will be able to expand their summer services, which include health and wellness and enrichment activities, to more Pre-Kindergarten to 5th grade students.
In addition, we are collaborating with the Austin Independent School District to identify and select a second elementary school partner and will begin supporting afterschool discovery experiences for students in the upcoming school year.
“Working with our community” is the most significant phrase in our mission statement because we realize that we cannot do this work alone. Expanding opportunities for young people means we need to increase all of our capacities to not only support them but also to sustain these efforts and make sure we are indeed delivering the highest quality programs we can provide. Our young people deserve the best that our city has to offer regardless of what neighborhood or zip code they live in. Anywhere and everywhere, our young people should be confident, motivated, and inspired to discover and reach their potential. And why shouldn't they be? They are surrounded by smart, caring, passionate people.
Thank you for working with us and supporting our mission.