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Working together to support vulnerable communities in Houston

Buckner Family Hope Center accepted to be a part of Albert Schweitzer Fellowship

This year, the Buckner Family Hope Center® at Reed Road in Houston was accepted to be a part of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship for Houston-Galveston. The application and acceptance process were challenging, but the Houston staff are so excited for what’s to come.
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship mission is to prepare the next generation of professionals who will serve and empower vulnerable people to live healthier lives and ultimately, create and support healthier communities. Fellows of the program design, implement, evaluate and plan for the sustainability of community-based prevention and intervention projects that address social factors of health.
Through the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, more than 300 fellows have been trained, more than 12,000 people have been served, and 56,000 hours of service have been completed.
The nonprofit offers graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to create and introduce a year-long mentored community project to address health needs in underserved populations in Houston.
Typically, projects encompass a wide range of subjects from physical environments, early childhood literacy, exercise and nutrition, access to health care and equity for minority populations.

Working together

Applying for the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship

In the initial application process, applicants had to identify a vulnerable community. The Buckner staff identified the Sunnyside community – where the Family Hope Center is located.
The Family Hope Center at Reed Road offers a place for support, education, community events and more. More than anything, the Family Hope Center seeks to provide a safe place for families to go to find hope – and chase their God-given potential.
Sunnyside was one of Houston’s first communities in the early 1900s platted only for Black Americans. This community has been identified today as the lowest median income zip code in Houston.
After identifying Sunnyside, the team constructed preventative and intervention projects for that community.

Providing educational and preventative information to impact generations

“We identified the need for an intervention plan to combat early childhood literacy and implement nutrition programs to prevent nutritional-related diseases,” shared Stephanie Panameno, children’s program supervisor at the Family Hope Center. “Because our students live in the lowest median income zip code in Houston, they are considered a vulnerable population.”
The fellowship will begin in the fall, so currently Buckner and the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship teams are working together to plan curriculum for the fellows and outcomes. The idea is to support the children’s program with lessons on health and preventative strategies.
The two fellows working alongside Buckner staff are Lauren Do and Michael DiLeo. They will help lead weekly lessons for the children’s program in the fall to implement education and prevention for health.
As a pillar of the Houston community, Buckner programming is always looking for ways to provide education and encouragement to the local community.
“The outcome of this fellowship with the children’s program is to lead our students to live healthier lives that will, in turn, produce healthier communities,” Panameno said.

Find out how you can impact vulnerable families in Houston today.

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