National Impact Community: Houston, TX

Change Happens

About the Applicant

Established in 1989, Change Happens is a social service agency providing a variety of services to disadvantaged and vulnerable communities in Harris County, Texas. The mission of the organization is empower people to help themselves.

About the Project

The City of Houston accepted President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge in September, 2014 and officially launched Houston’s Local Action Summit on November 13, 2014. Change Happens participated in the summit and has been actively engaged in supporting the MBK Community Challenge and the resulting Local Action Plan released in May 2015. As one of MBK Houston’s backbone organizations, Change Happens has actively contributed to the Plan and has a strong track record of successful engagement with boys and young men of color.

Change Happens, in collaboration with local partners, will strategically execute the Each One of Us mentoring program for 200 boys and young men of color at Jack Yates High School. The program both supports the educational goals and growth of all participants, while also addressing violence prevention. They will recruit mentors from Texas Southern University and University of Houston and work with other partners to provide services and programs for Each One of Us.

Mid-Year Update

Since being named an MBK National Impact Community, Change Happens has been working hard to provide boys and young men of color in Houston a fair chance to reach their potential through exposure and guidance of a caring adult.

At Jack Yates High School, Change Happens is implementing its Each One of Us mentoring program. The goal of the program is to ensure mentees graduate high school, succeed in college, and achieve their ambitions.

Starting with a cohort of 25 ninth-grade students, the Each One Of Us program pairs mentees with college-educated mentors in a one-to-one relationship, guided by a Program Manager. Boys and young men of color participating in the program attend a weekly session conducted by the Program Manager.

Through an innovative online platform, the mentorship pairs can engage in weekly chats and share thoughts. Pairs meet in-person at monthly meetings at the school and have dinner together, catch up, and work to build on the prior week’s discussion sessions.

The first-year cohort will stay together and move to the next grade level. After four years, 100 young men will complete the program. Through Each One Of Us, Change Happens is working toward a better and brighter future for Houston’s youth.

Key Implementation Partners

  • MBK Houston
  • City of Houston, Mayor’s Office
  • City of Houston, Health Department
  • Jack Yates High School, Houston Public Schools