Happy New Year!
I’m excited about the opportunity to share my thoughts and the amazing work that goes on daily at the State Fair of Texas in our community. Community Involvement and Education are both part of our mission and are critical to our focus of being a great partner and neighbor. Since April 1, I’ve been honored to serve in this role, and I’d like to update you on how we are committed to making a difference.
Here is just a glimpse:
- • Established in 1992, the State Fair of Texas Youth Scholarship Program has awarded scholarships to more than 1,800 students for a total of more than $8.7 million.
- • Honoring its past Chairman Pete Schenkel each year, the State Fair of Texas awards multiple $6,000 scholarships to selected applicants from the following Fair Park- area high schools: Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, James Madison, Lincoln, North Dallas and Woodrow Wilson High Schools.
- • We offered an SAT Summer Clinic for 50 students, provided support for 7 local nonprofits for their out-of-school-time programs, offered teacher trainings centered on the curriculum developed by Big Thought for students in grades 4th-12th and a scholarship workshop for local students.
- • A three-day summer camp was provided to more than 70 students in the local community at Fair Park to learn more about gardening, creative arts and cooking.
Although this list is not comprehensive, the State Fair of Texas recognizes the value of partnerships and collaboration for impact.
- • Starting in mid-January, the Nonprofit Infrastructure Initiative is a partnership between United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, The State Fair of Texas, and the University of North Texas at Dallas with the aim of strengthening nonprofits operating and serving clients in Southern Dallas through a capacity-building course for 10 selected organizations.
- • The Big Tex Job Fair, in partnership with Goodwill Industries, had 50 employers, 10 support service organizations, and almost 300 job seekers in attendance to provide employment for our seasonal workers and the local community.
- • Our Big Tex Urban Farm allows us to provide produce to local community organizations and as a result, we have been a part of convening other local urban gardens to share resources.
- • Community Engagement Day brought together nearly 100 organizations to convene, connect, and collaborate in partnership with the University of North Texas at Dallas. As a result, Spark Collaboration created a platform that introduces nonprofits to one another every month to explore opportunities on sharing resources for greater community impact.
• Feeding the Children Everywhere provided 50,000 meals for local food pantries in the area through the use of volunteers and State Fair support at St. Philip’s School and Community Center in South Dallas.
I could go on and on and on. There is so much great work happening in South Dallas and in the City of Dallas, and we are honored to offer support through our relationships and resources—from our social, human and financial capital. Despite the need, there are stories that this column will highlight of organizations and individuals who participate in community transformation daily. Every month, I’d like to share with you what we are doing, what is happening in the community, and how you can partner with us to make a difference!
Honored to Serve,
Froswa’ Booker-Drew, PhD