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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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Southwest Key Social E-Newsletter
Southwest Key

June, 2010

  Opening Doors to Opportunity
So Young People Can Achieve Their Dreams
April/May 2010
In This Issue
Southwest Key Breaks
Social Ground

New Report On Mental Health and Youth Of Color Released

From Hollywood to Texas,
A Visit From Ernie
Thank You AMD and
AMD Foundation
24/7 Crisis Response Team Created in New York
East Austin Children's Promise Breakfast

Dallas Mavericks Inspire Southwest Key Kids

The Arts Helping Kids
New Crisis Stabilization and Mentoring Program in Milwaukee
SWKey In the News
(The Monitor, 05.26.10)
(Brownsville Herald, 04.22.10)
(ABJ, 04.07.10)

Upcoming Events
@ Southwest Key
6002 Jain Lane, Austin
 Event Info at 512.462.2181

Connect With SWKey


Get Involved 

Southwest Key is seeking:
Event Volunteers
School Volunteers
Comm. Outreach Volunteers
Fundraising Volunteers support our East Austin College Prep Academy and
other programs happening
in East Austin.
Contact Victoria Gutierrez
if you are interested: 512.583.2567

Contact Us

Southwest Key National Headquarters
6002 Jain Lane
Austin, Texas 78721

Greetings From the Southwest Key Familia!
Welcome to our April/May 2010 newsletter and thank you for joining us. We are
happy and proud to share with you these Southwest Key stories from all over the
country. We hope they will inspire and encourage you to get involved, help open
a door to opportunity for a child and support Southwest Key Programs.


The Southwest Key Familia

Southwest Key Breaks Social Ground

In this economy, who doesn’t want to see jobs created, training classes full
and hope restored to low-income, working individuals and families?

Certainly not the hundreds of people who gathered May 1 to celebrate Southwest
Key Programs’ groundbreaking ceremony for our new Social Enterprise Complex: a
center that aims to put people in East Austin back to work by providing jobs,
skills training and other workforce development initiatives. 

Joined by distinguished guest speakers, a packed audience heard about the project, celebrated the groundbreaking, spent time at our job fair, before
enjoying a fiesta for the whole family. With assistance from the Economic Development Administration, the new 14,000 sqft building is expected to be
completed by Summer 2011.

For more information please visit:
For more photos of the groundbreaking, please follow this link

New Report on Mental Health and Youth of Color Released
Southwest Key Programs and the Inter-American Institute for Youth Justice at UT
just announced the release of a new policy report calling for improved mental
health services for youth of color in Texas, particularly those involved in the
juvenile justice system.
Funded by the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, the report describes findings from a symposium with national and local experts, as well as stakeholder focus groups with youth, parents and providers. The study confirmed disparities in access, quality of treatment and aftercare for minority youth in the Texas juvenile justice system and provided a set of policy recommendations to address these issues.

Download a free copy of the report,here at

From Hollywood To Texas, A Visit From Ernie

One of our programs in McAllen, Texas recently received a surprise visit from
Hollywood star Valente Rodriguez.  Anyone who has watched The George Lopez Show
knows this actor as George’s best friend, Ernie.  

Cynthia Leon tells the story of his visit: Valente is a native of Edcouch-Elsa just minutes from McAllen, and at the request of one of our staff, took time out of his busy schedule to visit with our youth clients.  How cool is that?

Being from a poor family of migrant workers, Valente shared his own life struggles and family problems, including his brother who spent 19 years in Huntsville prison for murder.  He talked to the kids about how making bad decisions can impact you and your family for a lifetime.  He talked about how his brother would tell him from behind the plexi-glass window in Huntsville Prison that making an “A” in Math or English was much easier than spending one day in Huntsville.

He reinforced one way out, and that is through education, a route he himself had followed. He encouraged our youth to change now because they still have time to turn themselves around.  He encouraged the kids to have a voice because every person in America has an opportunity to make something of themselves if they choose to.  He acknowledged our program and staff for caring to invite him to come and speak to them.

After Valente spoke, youth asked questions related to his movie career. Valente’s first role was in the movie Blood In, Blood Out.  Youth also asked about other Chicano actors such as George Lopez and Cheech Marin.  One parent asked Valente about portraying more positive roles. Valente stated that is definitely one of his goals, to highlight Latinos in more positive roles and to have more “brown people on the little black box.”

Thank You AMD and AMD Foundation

We are very pleased to announce that for the second consecutive year, our East Austin College Prep Academy (EACPA) has been awarded two grants totaling approximately $136,000 from AMD and the AMD Foundation.

The grants, part of AMD’s Changing the Game education initiative, will enable the EACPA to add a new grade and double the number of students participating in the World Wide Workshop Foundation’s cutting-edge Globaloria game design program. Additionally, AMD will fund a second technology laboratory for students, featuring 30 HP notebooks with AMD processors and ATI graphics.

The World Wide Workshop Foundation is a global foundation for developing educational technology applications that intertwine social media technology and game production. Globaloria is an intensive in-school game development curriculum and social networking platform that prepares students ages 13 and older from underserved communities to use technology to become active, socially conscious global cybercitizens.

The 2010 grants are given in support of AMD’s signature education initiative, AMD Changing the Game. The initiative promotes social issue game development as a tool to inspire youth to learn, improve their science, technology, education and mat (STEM) skills, and become more attuned to global social issues such as the environment, energy, public health and poverty.

From all of us at Southwest Key Programs, the East Austin College Prep Academy and especially the students, thank you AMD and the AMD Foundation!!

For more information about our College Prep Academy, please click here 
24/7 Crisis Response Team Created in New York
Our Southwest Key Community Connections and Family Keys programs in Orange
County, New York, were recently awarded a new grant to add 2 clinicians to our
team to support youth served through the programs. The new clinicians will be
part of an on-call crisis response team, skilled in providing home-based crisis
intervention 7 days per week, 365 days per year.

Through these programs, Southwest Key serves youth and families who struggle with social, emotional and behavioral challenges. These clinicians immediately
respond to youth and families in crisis. By providing timely intervention and support, clients are quickly able to obtain emergency services in order to stabilize all family members in the home. The clinicians will also conduct in-home assessments with high-risk youth and families to help facilitate the delivery of appropriate treatment.

Services will be provided to Community Connections and Family Keys participants between the ages of 10 to 18 years who have been identified as having a history of mental health issues or currently display similar symptoms. This project will be based out of the Southwest Key’s offices in Goshen, New York, and will serve approximately 66 youth and their families annually.
Congratulations Goshen! 
 East Austin Children's Promise Breakfast
In partnership with the Children's Promise Committee of our Community Advisory
Council, Southwest Key held a breakfast in April to share news of our community transformation and education initiative and introduce some of our new partners and supporters.  It was standing room only for the large crowd as we presented our progress to date and future plans.
Attendees from all over the community attended including neighborhood associations, corporations, foundations, service providers, faith-based groups, elected officials including City of Austin Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez (see photo) and Councilman Chris Riley, Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe, former Austin Mayor Gus Garcia, Justice of the Peace elect Yvonne Williams, State Representative Eddie Rodriguez and many, many more.

A big thank you to everyone who attended and pledged their support for the East Austin Children’s Promise.  
For more photographs of the event, please follow this link.  For more information on our East Austin Children's Promise and how to get involved cl ick here.
Dallas Mavericks Inspire Southwest Key Kids
In April, Southwest Key’s Outreach and Tracking Programs in Dallas went to see the Mavericks final game vs. the San Antonio Spurs. Dallas Mavericks player Caron Butler inspired our kids with his story of being in and out of juvenile detention and eventually turning his life around.

Our youth were treated like VIPS and were invited to watch the shoot-around where they saw Manu Ginobli, Tony Parker, Jason Terry and met Marc Cuban, the owner of the Mavericks. And at the end of the game our youth were invited to take a picture on the center court. They had a great time and were hopefully inspired to turn their own lives around and be successful.  

Thank you all at the Dallas Mavericks!

The Arts Helping Kids
Many of our Travis County Day Treatment Program students have been participating in the innovative Xenogia Project. The Xenogia Project is designed to encourage youth to create their own art, usually a spoken word piece, as research has shown that youth can benefit from exposure to the arts, subsequently resulting in the prevention and reduction of delinquency.

Six students opened up a recent Xenogia performance with a group piece entitled “I Am.” Each student then performed one of their own original poems providing us a glimpse of their lives.  Their GED Teacher and well known poet Ebony Stuart followed with a powerful performance.  Zell Miller III, Xenogia Project Director, playwright and poet, closed with one of his original pieces.

The Xenogia Project has been a great success and this Spring session proved to
be no exception.
New Crisis Stabilization and Mentoring Program In Milwaukee
Our An estimated 1 in 5 youth have a diagnosable mental health disorder and a disproportionate number of them are ending up in the juvenile justice system.

Our program in Milwaukee was recently awarded a contract through Wraparound Milwaukee to provide a new program, Crisis Stabilization and Supervision, as well as Mentoring, writes Elizabeth Shimeta, Program Director for Southwest Key Milwaukee.

Wraparound is a managed care program operated by the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division.  It is designed to provide comprehensive, individualized, and cost-effective care to children with complex mental health and emotional needs. Services will be provided to troubled youth at risk for placement in a psychiatric hospital, residential treatment center, or other institutional placement.  Our crisis workers will help youth and their families recognize high-risk behaviors and teach them effective techniques and interventions to de-escalate crisis situations.

One-to-one mentoring will also be provided as a part of both the Crisis and Mentoring programs as needed. Mentors play a vital role in the youth’s life by facilitating emotional and social growth through positive interactions that meet the youth’s needs.

We are very excited about providing both programs. This is a great opportunity for Southwest Key to demonstrate our expertise in this area, and help more youth and their families in Milwaukee.
Thank you for reading this issue of Southwest Key’s E-Newsletter. You will hear from us again in July as we share our news and successes of 2010.


The Southwest Key Familia

Published bi-monthly by:
Southwest Key Programs
6002 Jain Lane
Austin, Texas 78721
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