We want to share with you, our faithful supporter, news that hasn’t even gone out in a press release yet.  We’re so excited to share that the West Dallas Middle-Skills Pathway initiative pre-pilot has started! Recruitment of our first cohort, our name for the young adults that will go through the program, has begun with a  series of meetings over the last two weeks.

Several milestones were reached this week:

  • Thanks to the generosity of several private funders the funds for our Pathways pre-pilot were raised!
  • Anita Odom (Young Life West Dallas) and Trey Hill (Mercy Street) worked with Pinkston High School counselors to identify potential Pathways recruits.
  • Anthem Strong Families started the initial orientation and screening with some 25+ recruits
  • Serve West Dallas presented the Pathways initiative to a City of Dallas panel in response to the City’s RFP for this type of career program in under-resourced communities
  • With funds raised our Mentoring subcommittee is developing a customized Baylor University Medical Center (BUMC) employer/Fellows mentoring program.
  • The Pathways steering committee appointed a Quality Assurance subcommittee, which will be Chaired by Scott Turpin, SWD Board member and steering committee member.

The idea for the pre-pilot was in response to a need to provide West Dallas young adults with more than minimum wage job, but with an opportunity for a future career that will provide for their family. Our faith-based partners just did not want to wait until this spring when we are officially scheduled to launch the initiative. While many of these young adults have moved beyond the ministries of our partners, it is apparent that our organizations stay in touch with their kids that have graduated!

The individual stories, which we will share over time, will pull on your heart strings.  At our last couple of steering committee meetings the tears of members flowed the stories of our first recruits emerged.

This has been a truly collaborative effort to get us to this point.  Members of the collaborative include Mercy Street Dallas, Young Life – West Dallas, Pastoral Counseling Center, Anthem Strong Families, DCCCD El Centro College, BSWH/Baylor University Medical Center (BUMC), the City of Dallas Office of Economic Development, Abilene Christian University, and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, ExpressPro, and DISD.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Above: The Career Pathways committee met to celebrate more than a year of work and the launch of the pre-pilot which will include 10 participants (cohort). Pictured from right to left: Karen Wright (BUMC), Kelly Crayton (BUMC), Bill Dawkins (Anthem Strong Families), Venus Cobb (City of Dallas Office of Economic Development), and Gloria Leyva (DCCCD El Centro College).