March Immigration Forum at Mendez
B_g7aySUcAAX2BT.jpg-largeImmigration Forum at Mendez MS coordinated by TAP FRC in collab with Community partners on March 7th was a success.








Martin Middle School Host a “Fall Festival”

Middle School welcomed the community to the annual Harvest Fest, last Saturday, Nov. 8th from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.  Resources for families were available, including children’s dental care, vision screening and glasses; health screenings, flu shots and immunizations; health insurance assistance; housing, employment, immigration and financial resources; gardening and green living; and much more.  CLICK HERE to view all the Fall Festival Photos.

Updated Rostow Community Catalyst Award News



2014 Rostow Leadership Award Honoree Dr. Paul Cruz

2014 Rostow Leadership Award Honoree Dr. Paul Cruz

CLICK HERE to view updated news and photos from the 2014 Rostow Community Catalyst Awards 



CLICK HERE to read, “Catching Up to College and Career Readiness: The Challenge Is Greater for At-Risk Students” – Chrys Dougherty, Ph.D.

CLICK HERE to read, “College and Career Readiness:The Importance of Early Learning” - Chrys Dougherty, Ph.D.


MOVING FROM CHILDHOOD TO ADOLESCENCE–a Parent/Youth Transition Workshop Before the Start of a New School Year

TAP Transition Workshop Photo

On August 7th, The Austin Project’s Family Resource Center at Mendez Middle School hosted “Moving from Childhood to Adolescence”-a Parent/Youth Transition Workshop. Event partners include:  SafePlace, AISD, Mendez PTA, U.T. Center for Public Health, Workers Assistance League, Dove Springs Proud, Safe Routes to Schools, and Marathon Kids.  Focus was on helping youth and families build relationships with each other, school staff, and youth & family support programs.  The event also promoted the importance of healthy food and physical activity for youth and their families and introduced parents and youth to school and community leadership opportunities.

This event was made possible by funding TAP received for its Mendez Family Resource Center from AISD, A Glimmer of Hope Foundation, and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and TAP’s wonderful program partners:  SafePlace, ACE 21st Century, Mendez MS, GAVA, Workers Assistance Program, Dove Springs Proud, Safe Place Routes to Schools, and the UT Center for Public Health.

For more event details, Click Here to read the full Press Release.



On Monday, May 19th, Leonor Vargas, Director of the Family Resource Center at Consuelo Mendez Middle School, provided testimony before the Texas Senate advocating for state support of flood-affected families in Dove Springs.

To Hear Leonor Vargas’s Testimony: Click Here


AISD-LOGOThe Austin Project was recognized at the Austin ISD’s 2014 Latino Academic Achievement Award Ceremony on May 10th.   TAP was selected from a number of candidates to receive the Latino Excellence in Advocacy Award, in honor of Latino Awardsthe significant amount of service benefiting Latino students in the Austin Independent School District. The nomination came from Rebecca Ramirez, Assistant Principal at Mendez Middle School, who cited the great work done by The Austin Project’s (TAP) Family Resource Center at Consuelo Mendez Middle School, led by TAP staff member, Leonor Vargas, the Director of the Family Resource Center, in acknowledgement of the center’s contributions to Latino students and families in that school community in particular.

–The Latino Excellence in Advocacy Award is given each year to any organization, Latino or not, which has provided outstanding support in advancing Latino academic achievement and promoting educational outcomes in the greater Austin area for a minimum of two consecutive years.–



Martin Middle School Community Health Fair was Well Attended

Interim AISD Superintendent, Paul Cruz, joined The Austin Project Family Resource Center Director, Blanca Herrera and parent leaders at the Martin Middle School Community Health Fair. Special thanks to volunteers Joe Trevino, James Jones, Martin’s PTA, principal Vega for her burger building skills, and UT’s Project 2014, as well as Breakthrough Austin, and numerous other service providers who shared their time and resources with Eastside community families. It was great to have School Board Member Jayme Mathais attend the event as well!



banner3TAP staff Donna Hagey and Blanca Herrera attended the Community Schools: The Engine of Opportunity conference, April 9-11, in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Coalition for Community Schools is a national forum that reflects the Coalition’s commitment to equal opportunity for all students and the belief that community schools, with their deep and sustained partnerships between schools and community resources, are the “engine” that will prepare young people to succeed.

The conference brought forward the growing awareness and discussion of the important of student engagement in learning, and the influence of out-of-school factors, including poverty on student achievement.  Some of the Key Speakers at the conference included, Chris Edley, Chair of the Commission on Equity and Excellence, David Johns, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, Ira Harkavy, Nettle Center for Community Partnerships, and California State Senator, Carol Liu.

banner2More information about Community Schools initiatives from the conference will be featured in TAP’s next Newsletter. Cincinnati Group









TAP Remembers Long Time Donor J. Chrys Dougherty III                

424463_0_424463_207129_20140223TAP remembers longtime Texan and substantial benefactor of the community, J. Chrys Dougherty III.  Chrys’s name has been long synonymous with donating to multiple causes in the community like The Austin Project.   Chrys served on the Board of Directors at The Austin Project and was instrumental in helping to strengthen families and in improving education in east Austin.

If you would like to honor Chrys a donation can be made to The Austin Project, 5221 Ledesma Road, Austin, TX 78721 – Click here for more information.

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TAP is Looking for Team Members

SONY DSCJoin the TAP Staff Team and help us to Strengthen Families in our community. 

Click Here for more details on current Job Positions and how to apply.

Click Here for more details on Internship Opportunities and how to apply.

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Central East Austin Community/School Alliance at Martin FRC

SONY DSCMartin Middle School parents and community members attend the monthly gathering of the Central East Austin Community/School Alliance facilitated by TAP’s Family Resource Center staff at Martin Middle School.  Parents and community members help shape the school and build advocacy support their children and the needs of the community.  Since September 2013,  an average of 73 community members have attended the monthly “Alliance” meeting.  We have helped to forge a more dynamic link between the elementary schools, Martin Middle School and Eastside Memorial High School by focusing on great transition programming, building social-emotional support systems, and by putting youth and families first!  Join the magic of the Community Schools initiative where parents, children & youth, administrators and community members and support organizations build a more perfect union to transform our public schools.



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