Brewer Foundation Future Leaders Program Celebrates 15th Anniversary, Academic and Leadership Succes
Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa encouraged hundreds of the city’s “future leaders” to believe in themselves, stay committed to education, and embrace the promise of new opportunities at the 15th Annual Brewer Foundation Future Leaders Program (FLP) Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, April 21.
Dr. Hinojosa shared the story of his personal journey with more than 800 DISD students and family members at the FLP ceremony, held at Southern Methodist University’s McFarlin Auditorium.
The students, ages 10 – 18, take part in the FLP, an after-school academic and leadership development program that lights a path to college for students from the Dallas Independent School District (DISD). Nearly 300 students were honored at the ceremony, and the 22 graduating seniors celebrated receiving more than $1 million in college scholarship offers.
“I’m proud of the students, the progress you’ve made, and the commitment that you have to be involved in this program,” Dr. Hinojosa said. “I’m also very, very proud of the Brewer Foundation.”
Dr. Hinojosa, a DISD graduate himself, shared his story growing up in Oak Cliff. He was the eighth of 10 children born to Mexican immigrant parents who only had a third grade education. He went on to graduate from college, and worked as a teacher, coach and administrator. He reminded students to be proud of where they come from.
“Your future will be forever changed,” he told the students. “You can now look to the future with hope and aspiration because your life just got better because of the FLP.”
Now in its 15th year, the FLP was founded in 2001 with only 20 students. Since that time, the program has become a national model for public-private partnership in education. The program partners DISD teachers and faculty with those from St. Mark’s School of Texas, The Hockaday School, Episcopal School of Dallas, and Greenhill School.
FLP classes are offered after school on the campuses of the program’s private school partners. Students attend classes with an 8:1 student-teacher ratio, supplementing their regular coursework with classes in English, Technology, Mathematic, Computer Science, and Leadership. For 15 years, the aim has been to prepare deserving students for success in high school, college and beyond.
“This program milestone is made possible by all of those who believed we could create a different model of educational partnership,” said William A. Brewer III, a founder of the FLP and chairman of its Advisory Board. “We are proud to recognize our next generation of future leaders – and to celebrate the promise of their horizons.”
Dr. Hinojosa has been a long-time partner to the FLP. He returned to the district in October 2015 and has served 20 years as a superintendent of six public education systems.
All FLP students were recognized at the ceremony, with special recognition for students with perfect attendance and the FLP Student Advisory Board members.
The 22 FLP Class of 2016 graduating high school seniors were also recognized. To date, this year’s graduates have earned more than $1.2 million in scholarship offers and received 114 college acceptance letters. To date, FLP graduates have received more than $8 million in scholarship offers.
The graduating FLP students are Maria Beltran, LaQuianshie Bonner, Rosa Correa, Twantanisha Derrough, Estefania Enriquez, Evan Gilbert, Benjamin Greer, Brandi Gregg, Trini Hill, Sienzhi Kouemo, Marlene Loza, Ryean McDow, Jennifer Perez, Karel Rafael, Fernando Rivera, Rodrigo Salazar, Dalton Sherman, Evelyn Silva, Ke’Ryne Smith, Michael Vera, Alexxus Williams, and Maria Yanez.
Founded in 2001 by the Brewer Foundation (formerly the Bickel & Brewer Foundation), the FLP is a public-private partnership that involves 23 DISD partner schools and The Hockaday School, St. Mark’s School of Texas, the Episcopal School of Dallas, and Greenhill School.
Approximately 85 percent of all FLP participants are (or will be) first generation college students. The composition of the FLP is approximately 50 percent Latino and 50 percent African-American.
FLP alumni now attend colleges and universities including The University of Texas at Austin, SMU, Colby College, Pomona College and Howard University.