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Our mission is to Educate , Empower & Improve the quality of life for individuals and the families in low income and at risk communities by promoting community involvement and awareness through a variety of programs and activities with emphasis on:
· Community Activeness, Responsibility & Involvement
· Academic Enrichment and Excellence
· Promoting Higher Education and Continuing Education
· Eradicating the academic gap for children in low income communities
· Advancing the understanding of technology
· Economic Training
· Implementing, Encouraging and advancing Family Support Initiatives
· Senior Citizen Empowerment and Support
· HIV/A.I.D.S Education
· Eliminating the Homeless Epidemic
· Health Education
· Finance and Credit Education
· Equality for All
Our purpose is to serve communities neglected by government funding and traditional community support systems. To bring resources to urbanized communities that will provide education, learning and job opportunities, youth and senior empowerment in addition to community restoration; while creating mechanisms for community support and development.
Walk With Me Community Improvement Center was founded in Missouri City, Texas in 2004 with the mission to "Educate, Empower and Improve". During its inaugural year the community center provided the Hold My Hand Summer Mentoring Camp for 562 low-income Missouri City/Houston children. These children, under the guidance of their community center, elders and staff members, dedicated many hours to community service tasks that included making care packages for the Houston homeless and beautifying their communities. Additionally, they spent a large amount of time devoted to improving their studies and advancing themselves in the fields of English, Mathematics and Cultural History. This concept of a community center, one that provides a haven for children to develop academic skills and to express themselves through the arts, and has proven to be a continual and dominant need to the many communities that we've serviced.
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast devastating the city of New Orleans leaving thousands of its residents displaced. Nearly 50% of New Orleans evacuees relocated to Texas, and more than half of that displaced population settled in Houston. Remaining true to its mission to serve low-income families in the areas of education, spiritual development, individual empowerment and community improvement the organization embraced the task of assisting New Orleans natives with adjusting to life in an unfamiliar place. This task would grow to include hundreds of families and form a lifelong commitment to the families and the city of New Orleans. Through the combined efforts of the Walk With Me Community Improvement Center staff, members, and sponsors the organization provided and coordinated services to over 260 Katrina families. Services included but were not limited to; housing, transportation, clothing, food, mentoring, assisting with F.E.M.A paperwork, making shuttles to and from New Orleans to retrieve personal documents, medication, religious and grief counseling and a plethora of others. Today, the organization has taken an extra step in providing services to families effected ever still by the storm that hit four years ago. The founder of the Walk With Me C.I.C., LaToyia Porter, saw an immediate need in New Orleans, particularly in the New Orleans East community. In 2007 she and several members of her staff relocated to the area to begin their work helping rebuild and restore the community and the enhance the quality of life that is available to the residents of the community. In 2009 the doors of Walk With Me Community Improvement Center welcomed nearly 100 new families into its programs. During the summer of 2009 the center launched its Children's Defense Fund Freedom School intergenerational summer reading program which hosted nearly 70 children and a waiting list of more than 100. Among its many accomplishments, Walk With Me Community Improvement Center received recognition from Governor Rick Perry of Texas, Mayor Bill White of Houston; ABC World News; and The Houston Chronicle for its dedication to the New Orleans natives. The combined efforts of The Walk With Me Community Improvement Center staff, members, and sponsors the organization provided and coordinated services to over 260 Katrina families. Our concept of a community center is one that provides a haven for children to develop academic skills and to express themselves through the arts, while parents are empowered with the education and skills they need to assist their children with academic success, while promoting the positive benefits of enhanced family time together.
Our vision is to create a network of support through community partnerships that will provide resources, hope, education and empowerment to the low income communities that we serve ultimately greatly impacting the lives of the residents and providing a stable foundation for the generations to come.
To carry out this vision we must...
- Establish relationships with local schools, to provide relief and support that will encourage academic excellence and positive youth development.
- Provide resources, support and training to community families that will cultivate positive parenting techniques, effective communication skills and conflict resolutions while promoting recreational and educational activities that parents can do with their child to foster the understanding that parents should be the primary teacher for their children.
- Organize community initiatives that will foster economic growth, expansion and development through adult education, skills and trade training, and entrepreneurial mentorship.
- Provide resources to the families and youths in the community that will eradicate drug use, street and domestic violence, truancy and delinquency. Additionally these resources should help to greatly reduce the number of high - school drop outs, teenage pregnancies and unwanted pregnancies.
- Provide support to law enforcement and initiatives for the community that will greatly reduce the number of violent crimes.
- Aggressively combat against the increasing number of HIV/AIDS cases through educational, preventive and sustainable measures, while also addressing the issues of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, improper nutrition and other health care concerns that often plague, impoverished or low income communities.
- Protect and support the elderly, and provide opportunities for them to contribute to their experiences and wisdom with community youth.
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