Archive for July, 2010

Ms. Valerie Goes To Chicago

One of our employees, Valerie recently attended community and voter outreach training in Chicago. Here is her story.


As part of my job at Southwest Key, I have been involved in various initiatives to reach out and mobilize the local community. Whether it has been increasing voter registration, organizing judicial public forums, participating in our Leadership Development Program or hosting a summer speakers series, I believe individuals and organizations can enable positive change in people and neighborhoods wherever they may be.

I was lucky enough to be awarded a grant that enabled me to recently attend a three day National Council of La Raza (NCLR) training session in Chicago. The training consisted of a multi-state network of community-based organizations coming together to better understand how to organize field campaigns and promote sustained civic education and participation in the political process.



The training demonstrated strategies that reduce barriers to electoral participation in the Latino community, encouraging Latinos to become registered voters and become part of the political process. To find their voice if you will.

I’d like to thank the NCLR and Southwest Key Programs for giving me the opportunity to attend the training. Aside from making a ton of new friends, I am inspired to use the new skills and techniques I learned for the benefit of the community I live in and serve every day.”

July 27, 2010 at 11:28 am Leave a comment

Family Day in Houston

Our Houston Evening Reporting Center held its first Family Day.

It was attended by youth with family members, as well as former students and several Harris County Probation Officers.

There was face painting and balloons for the kids and good healthy dialogue with family members. There was a lot positive feedback from the families about our program and the services we provide for their youth.

Hamburgers and hotdogs were provided for all of our guests and a great time was had by all!

More photographs of the day can be found here.

southwest key programs, southwest key, juvenile justice, houston

July 26, 2010 at 11:12 am Leave a comment

Southwest Key Employees Running To Wellness

Our post today is from one of our Southwest Key’s wellness program coordinators, Jaylyn….she writes;

Doing what we do every day, means our employees are generally an energetic bunch. So our wellness program takes an active approach, encouraging and supporting staff to ensure their good health, so they are fit and ready for any challenge.

One of the program’s initiatives for 2010 is sponsoring employee activities that tie into the overall wellness program goals. By encouraging and enabling staff to participate in healthy activities, staff not only reap the benefits of feeling better, but stress is reduced and morale boosted.

Southwest Key employees from all over the country have literally jumped in with both feet and are taking advantage of our wellness initiatives.

Casita El Paso, in Clint, was the first program to organize a 5K, and many other programs are following in their footsteps, including California, Conroe, and Brownsville’s All-Rio Grande Valley 5K in August. Recently, our Phoenix program organized a 5K fun run with nearly 50 participants! Everyone who participated was recognized, and the winners won special prizes too. San Francisco area based employees also ran in the famous Bay To Breakers 12k run.

More Bay to Breakers photos can be found here.

All Southwest Key Programs are invited to take ownership in their Wellness Program and start organizing their own events!

July 23, 2010 at 12:56 pm 1 comment

Southwest Key Volunteer Honored by Cadillac and KVUE

Cadillac has partnered with KVUE to recognize outstanding volunteers in Austin.

The Cadillac Texas Spirit series honors outstanding volunteers in the community, particularly those who are young professionals in Austin. Kinda, who volunteers at our middle school, the East Austin College Prep Academy, was recently honored.

Thank you Cadillac, KVUE and Kinda for everything you do to help education in Austin.

July 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm Leave a comment

NonProfit Film Festival Honor!

We are thrilled to share some great news with all of you!

A video featuring Southwest Key’s East Austin College Prep Academy and produced by one of our educational partners, The WorldWide Workshop and their Globaloria program called “Voices From the Field,” is an official selection for the Lights. Camera. Help. film festival, happening in Austin July 29-31.

The film was chosen from among 235 worldwide entries and features a student from our East Austin College Prep Academy talking about the Globaloria learning platform, and the impact it has had on her life.

Our East Austin College Prep Academy, in partnership with The World Wide Workshop Foundation and AMD, is the first school in Texas and the first charter school in the country, to integrate Globaloria as a school-wide teaching and learning platform, and is leading the nation in offering this game-making course as core curriculum to all its students starting in the 6th grade. Globaloria is a college-prep and career-prep course in which students learn how to create educational games that solve social issues. The Globaloria curriculum is aligned with the Texas Content Standards for Mathematics (TEKs), ELA and Technology Learning and is designed to teach STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) by engaging students through this innovative platform and approach.

Here is the video and I would encourage all of you to go see the video live in person and support the film festival. It is being held in Austin, Texas between July 29-31, and you can get more information and buy tickets here.


Congratulations to the World Wide Workshop, Globaloria and everyone connected with the program and the film!

July 16, 2010 at 12:44 pm Leave a comment

East Austin Children’s Promise – Additional Supporters Update

Earlier this week we acknowledged individuals who formally signed onto the East Austin Children’s Promise Advisory Committee or spoke at our Children’s Promise Breakfast. As a follow up, I want to take this opportunity to recognize a number of additional, committed supporters and friends.

We are proud of the extensive community and business support that we have received for the East Austin Children’s Promise as you can see from the following individuals and organizations listed below.

We look forward to working in partnership with all them as we move forward.  We recognize that we would not be where we are without their continued support and are truly grateful for the broad support we receive.  Thank you for being such dedicated friends and family. It is clear that by working together to develop a network of services and supports, we can create a community of opportunity that ensures the success of our city’s most vulnerable children.

·      El Concilio
·      Govalle/Johnston Terrace Planning Team
·      Brooke Neighborhood Association
·      Stuart Circle Neighborhood Association
·      Tillery Square Neighborhood Association
·      TANK (Tank Farm Area Neighborhood Improvement Kouncil)
·      Red Bluff Neighborhood Association
·      Larch Terrace Neighborhood Association
·      Vargas Neighborhood Association
·      Calmar Cove Neighborhood
·      Gardens Neighborhood Association
·      Savorey Lane Neighborhood Association
·      Pedro S.S. Services, Inc.
·      U.S. Hispanic Contractors Association
·      JP Morgan Chase Bank
·      Easter Seals Central Texas
·      Big Brothers Big Sisters Of Central Texas
·      Grassroots Leadership
·      Mexic-Arte Museum
·      City of Austin Council Member – Randi Shade
·      Joseph R. Barschow
·      Julie Mayne

Please show your support for our East Austin Children’s Promise. Become a fan on facebook at www.facebook.com/eastaustinchildrenspromise and sign up and volunteer at our school or community activities at http://www.swkey.org/promise/partners.html. Over the coming weeks and months we will continue to keep you apprised of additional supporters and keep you informed of our progress.

Sincerely,

Juan Sánchez
CEO/El Presidente,
Southwest Key Programs

July 8, 2010 at 5:08 pm Leave a comment

Help Southwest Key Create Jobs!

Dear Friends,
Please help us and support Southwest Key’s request for funds to create green jobs!

Send an email to the Austin City Council and Community Development Commission to encourage them to fund Southwest Key’s job creation program.

What Is happening:
Southwest Key has started several companies that are creating jobs and developing job skills for the 21st century.  We have applied for a start-up grant with the City of Austin to support this work.  Time is running out: the City’s Community Development Commissioners will vote on July 12, so they need to hear from you by email that this project is a priority this year.  We are starting this in Austin, but plan to roll it out into other parts of the country, so we need your support and emails, no matter where you live.

Why is this important?
By creating green jobs and training programs, Southwest Key is not only putting people back to work, but also helping businesses and families use our planet’s resources more wisely.  Helping Southwest Key secure program funds will strengthen the program, which is good for all of us, no matter where you live!

What you can do:
Before next Monday, July 12, send an email to the CDC Commission via this online form at www.cityofaustin.org/connect/email_nhcd.htm and to the Austin City Council Members via this online form at http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/council/groupemail.htm encouraging them to support Southwest Key’s request for funds for its job creation project.  It will only take 5 minutes of your time but could make such a huge impact!

We thank you for all you do for Southwest Key and the families we serve!

Joella Brooks
Deputy Executive Director
Southwest Key Programs

****EXAMPLE EMAIL*****

Dear Community Development Commissioners and Council Members:

I support Southwest Key Programs efforts to provide employment and job training through their Social Enterprises project and grant request.  New jobs and workforce development will strengthen our community, helping individuals and families prosper, and will help to attract additional investment to the city.

Thank you for your consideration of this important venture,

Your name

July 8, 2010 at 9:41 am Leave a comment

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