Thursday, May 7, 2015

SBISD Partners Collaborate to Expose Students to Careers and Bright Futures

It was a day of bonding, dreams of bright futures, and baseball! Earlier this month, 65 Hollibrook Elementary students were given the opportunity to spend a day off campus bonding with their classmates, learning about exciting career opportunities in the world of professional sports and, to top it all off, a chance to see the Astros play the Cleveland Indians during Season Opener week at Minute Maid Stadium.

The Houston Astros has earned the SBISD Good Neighbor designation this school year thanks to their support of SBISD students and staff. This fall, the Astros donated 2,000 tickets to a fall game that SBISD school leaders used to incentivize students who met campus benchmarks and goals. This spring, through a partnership with SBISD Good Neighbor ConocoPhillips, the Houston Astros named Spring Woods Middle School teacher Joseph Mauer as a Math Teacher of the Month, providing Mauer with a $1,000 check and visit from Astros mascot, Orbit.

When Hollibrook Principal Elsa Delgado received an invitation from the Houston Astros for Hollibrook students to attend a Career Day, she knew exactly who she could turn to to make the possibility a reality for her students.

“For years now,” said Delgado, “we have partnered with Spring Spirit Baseball to increase the developmental assets our students have.  Many of our students grow up playing and watching soccer and many don’t know the game of baseball.  The partnership with SSB gives them that.  It opens a whole new learning for them.  When the invitation [to attend the Astros Career Day] came, I knew this was an opportunity for all these students to connect learning at the field to a career and enjoy a professional game.  I shared the invite with SSB and they made it happen.”
SpringSpiritBaseball, an SBISD Good Neighbor partner, is a non-profit whose mission is to provide safe pathways for youth to realize life opportunities through sports, education and mentoring programs. SpringSpirit has been providing mentors through SBISD’s SpringBoard Mentoring Program and after-school baseball clinics to roughly 300 Hollibrook Elementary students since 2011.

John Meredith, Executive Director of SpringSpirit Baseball, jumped at the opportunity. “When Ms. Delgado asked SpringSpirit Baseball to be involved with Astros’ Career Day, we were excited to participate as it has the same goals as the SpringSpirit ‘Take A Student To your Employment (TASTE)’ program.  We want the students to understand why getting a T-2-4 education will help them the rest of their lives, so going to a workplace is important to understand the connection,” said Meredith.

As the Hollibrook students settled into their seats, their faces filled with excitement. For most students, this trip was their first time inside of Minute Maid Stadium; for some their first time outside of their neighborhood or even on an escalator. When members of the Houston Astros front office staff began presenting to the students about career pathways within the world of professional sports, the exposure deepened.

Students learned about careers in marketing, branding, guest services and human relations. The heard about the importance of higher education, of understanding your strengths and following your passions. The message was T-2-4 aligned and instilled in the students an excitement for a world of professional possibilities ahead of them.

To end the day, the students watched the Houston Astros take on the Cleveland Indians. This exciting day of firsts for so many would not have been possible without the collaborative support of our wonderful Good Neighbor partners. Thank you, Houston Astros and SpringSpirit Baseball, for helping our students dream big and achieve big!

To learn more about the Good Neighbor Program or how you can help support SBISD students, please contact Abby Walker ( or 713.251.2289).


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