Cheniere Energy’s $150,000 grant to HISD schools benefits surrounding communities 

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Cheniere Energy has donated $150,000 to six HISD high schools, challenging students to use the funds to create a project that will impact their community.

Austin, Challenge Early College, Madison, Milby, North Houston Early College, and Westbury high schools are all part of the Cheniere LEAD (Leadership, Enrichment, and Development) Council program.

“These students are the next generation of community leaders, and they give us hope that we can improve our neighborhoods by working together,” said Eben Burnham-Snyder, vice president of communications at Cheniere. “All of us at Cheniere have been impressed by the students in the LEAD Council program, and we hope they will inspire the next generation of students at their schools and throughout the Houston area to get more involved with their community.”

Each school received $25,000, and students from North Houston Early College used their funds to renovate a dorm at Covenant House. The school is on the Metro rail, and after students witnessed kids their own ages who were homeless, they decided to work with Covenant House, a shelter for homeless, abused, and abandoned youth, as their community effort. The students painted and furnished several of the areas for teens, including the dormitory space and TV room.

A ribbon-cutting and tour of the project took place on Wednesday, May 10, at Covenant House (1111 Lovett Blvd., Houston, 77006).

“My students had an opportunity to plan, budget, attend a fundraising gala with prestigious business people, and make presentations to community stakeholders,” said North Houston Early College Principal Angela Lundy-Jackson. “They are making an impact on the city’s homeless youth and Covenant  House. Thank you, Cheniere Energy, for this fantastic learning opportunity.”

Milby students created a garden for the surrounding community with the goals of educating families on eating healthy and growing their own food, and also to provide opportunities for neighbors to get to know one another. They chose Mission Milby Community Development Corporation as the location for the garden, which produces various fresh fruits and vegetables for area residents.

“The students controlled this project from beginning to end,” said Milby Principal Roy de la Garza. “They planned the design, execution, and future maintenance of the garden. Mission Milby is one of Milby’s greatest supporters, so it’s a good way to give back to them as well as the community.”

The other school projects are in various stages of completion.

  • Austin High School worked on community gardens at Franklin ES, DeZavala ES, Cage ES, Project Chrysalis MS, and Ripley House Neighborhood Center.
  • Challenge Early College High School purchased ESL software and tablets, stocked their library, worked on their courtyard, and renovated the parent room. The students want ESL parents to feel welcome on campus using the computers and learning English.
  • Madison High School worked on their community garden and renovated their community patio.
  • Westbury High School is working on upgrading the literacy program at Platou Community Center. This includes adding seating for parents and summertime campers, and adding two outside libraries where people can drop off books or borrow donated books. The students will stuff backpacks with school supplies for elementary school children for the beginning of next school year.