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Workshop Houston’s mission is to provide youth with creative, technical and educational resources. Our vision is to lay the groundwork for a just society by creating a community that provides youth with support, expanded opportunities and alternative definitions of success.
Workshop Houston has four shops that provide resources and support for young people: the Third Ward Bike Shop (do-it-yourself bike repair), the Chopper Shop (welding and metal fabrication), the Beat Shop (music production), the Style Shop (fashion and graphic design) and the Scholar Shop (tutoring and academic enrichment).
Workshop Houston has six core values are exhibited in every aspect of the organization:
Community Communities are the primary social unit capable of progressive change; a community can create collective action while retaining the freedom of individual voices. Participating in a positive and engaged community that recognizes our interdependence and supports and mentors youth is the best way to inspire youth to reach their full potential.
Empowering Individuals The building blocks of communities working to change society are empowered and educated individuals. We define empowerment as individuals seeing change as a realistic possibility and having the power to do what they believe is right. We find that the best way to prepare someone to create power for themselves is to provide opportunities for learning and creative expression, and allow space for them to define and enact change for themselves and their communities.
Education as a Way of Life We see education and the pursuit of knowledge as a central goal in life, as well as the best way to prepare youth to lead fulfilling lives and to inspire them to participate in positive communities. Through creative, hands-on, and self-directed projects we are able to engage youth in learning and show them that education can be relevant to their lives as well as be a vehicle for growth and change. Finally, we work to tie education to empowerment by teaching youth the critical skill of how to use information to make positive decisions.
Justice We recognize that historic injustices are an important factor in creating the inequalities that exist in American economic, political, and educational systems. Our work seeks to both alleviate the critical problems these injustices create for youth, while at the same time defining and working towards a new society that is just for all people.
Culture We affirm the dignity and worth of all people. Additionally, we celebrate and respect the variety of human culture. We strive to participate in a society that holds both of these values paramount.
Structure as Values We recognize that in working to change society the structure of our organization must reflect the values of the community we wish to create, just as we must model the behavior we expect of our participants. With this knowledge we structure our organization around collectivity and collaboration which allows us to be inclusive, supportive, dynamic and innovative, all traits we desire in our community. We also work to continually improve ourselves by becoming, more disciplined, more accepting of change, better communicators, and better educators.