District mentorship programs celebrate over 1,300 student leaders during youth summit

Students from HISD mentoring programs Ascending to Men (ATM) and Resilient Outstanding Sisters Exemplifying Success (ROSES) were celebrated during the May 20 virtual Youth Summit RISE: Realizing I’m Someone Exceptional.

Over 1,300 students from 56 HISD campuses joined the empowering event, celebrating students in persevering through a tumultuous year of challenges and adaptations. Two sessions, one for elementary students and one for secondary students were hosted, focusing on youth empowerment, leadership, and positive self-talk. 

Attendees heard from a panel of peer students as they recanted their own experiences and best practices on well-being, social emotional health, and leadership as they navigated the current academic year. Guest speaker Bianca Rosales shared affirmations and the importance of being proud of one’s identity and backgrounds; while tips on navigating change, community involvement and knowing one’s “superpowers” were shared by creative guest speaker and  Chicago-based artist and entrepreneur Dwight White.

“It is such a wonderful opportunity to be able to celebrate our students after the unprecedented year they have faced,” said Candice Castillo, Executive Director of Equity and Outreach. “We are so grateful for our mentors, community, team and all of supporters that take the time to invest in the lives of our students to help the reach their full potential.”

“I enjoyed and appreciated the Youth Summit because I got to listened to the accomplishments people have experienced in their lives, especially the artist, Dwight White who is originally from Houston,” said Chavez High School sophomore E. Williams. “It was really inspiring, and it motivated me to continue my passion of singing and be part of the Lobo Choir. I also liked that we go to have an active role in choosing the winners for the student Talent Show.”

HISD’s mentorship programs, ATM and  ROSES, aim to cultivate traits in several areas to equip students – especially from historically underserved communities with the knowledge, confidence, and necessary skills to embark on their post-secondary journey.  For questions related to HISD mentorship programs please contact equityandoutreach@HoustonISD.org or call 713-556-8902.