Since 2009, Texas AIM has helped thousands of kids across the state and until recently, that funding was at risk.
Investing in Texas kids has always been a priority to state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa. At the start of the 85th Legislative Session, there was zero budgeted for the Texas Academic Innovation and Mentoring (AIM) Program, which helps provide mentorship programs for at risk youth. However, Hinojosa, who is the vice chair of Senate Finance, was able to get $4.5 million approved by the end of the session.
With cumulative minority dropout rates throughout Texas averaging about 50 percent, proven results of innovative collaboration programs such as Texas AIM are critical. The goal of Texas AIM is to improve academic success by providing academic tutoring and mentoring services targeting graduation success for youths ages 6 to 17 at risk of dropping out of school. This funding will help support Texas AIM programs in 59 communities throughout Texas.
What is Texas AIM?
Texas AIM utilizes the historic strengths of the Boys & Girls Club organizations and Sylvan Learning Centers, along with cooperation of local school districts, to assist students in making pronounced gains in targeted academic areas.
Texas AIM will provide academic services to Boys & Girls Club youths and teens at select sites throughout the state. Communities are selected based on a broad range of socio-economic data, including but not limited to factors such as poverty, school success, limited English-speaking families, and other classifications. The number of youths to be served at each site is determined by the average daily attendance of club members at that site. For example, the pool of potential participants could range from 28 to 72. Locations in the Rio Grande Valley include Edinburg, Harlingen, Los Fresnos, McAllen, Mission, Pharr, and Port Isabel.
“The Boys & Girls Clubs in the Rio Grande Valley are excellent youth service organizations in our communities,” Hinojosa said. “Through quality programs and services, they give our children the skills and encouragement they need to succeed. These clubs provide a safe, caring environment and foster positive relationships to help kids overcome the challenges they face at home and at school, while enabling them to become responsible, successful young adults contributing to our communities. Thank you to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the RGV for your dedication and commitment to our children and giving them invaluable opportunities.”