Central Texas – it’s the place we’re proud to call home. The amazing lifestyle it offers is the envy of many who don’t hang their hat here – live music around every corner, world-class Tex Mex, and a year-round warm climate that allows for endless outdoor entertainment. But we know that our region is changing and growing quickly, including a flavor of a small city with big city problems. One Voice tells us one-fourth of all children in Greater Austin live in poverty and only six percent of low-income children living in Central Texas earn a college degree. As a community, we can and must do better for our children.
Our starting point: Education
Where do we start? At the outset, these problems seem so big and overwhelming that it’s easy to get paralyzed into inaction. But, for us at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, a great starting point is with education. We believe that getting a high-quality, experience-rich, education helps our young people to harness and cultivate the skills needed to be successful and productive leaders in the region.
At the foundation, we are agnostic as to where good ideas come from. Our investments track closely those entities and partners best positioned to make the most impactful change in the current context. For example, in October, we announced our support of IDEA Public Schools in its endeavor to prepare and provide entry for their students into a burgeoning health workforce and career development trajectory. We saw this investment as a unique opportunity for students to receive a high-quality education that also prepares them for a career in the health profession.
We are looking for more school campuses, traditional school districts, and charter school districts who have different and unique approaches to education, health, and work. Through these efforts, we aim to uncover more inclusive access to the opportunities that exist in the Austin area, both today and in the future.
We must all actively prepare for our region’s future, so it continues to be a place we’re proud to call home. Let’s do this….together.
Where you come in
And we’re looking for partners in this work. You might be a school or district that is focused on this already. Or someone who knows a school or district doing great things to approach education, health, or work opportunities in unique ways. If so, we want to hear from you. Let us know what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.
Find more information about the requirements for this partnership here.