Gwen Fedrick is the Go Neighborhood community coordinator for The Southeast Houston Transformation Alliance and Sam Jones is an artist who donated his work to the organization to symbolize at once the waste we create and what can happen if we decide to do something about it. He built a bench out of discarded objects he found washed up on the banks of Kuhlman gully. It's an impressive bit of restoration and transformation. You can to see the process and the result of his ingenuity come together here: www.SamJones.me
Gwen tells us of the problems plaguing the area: bad landlords, absentee landlords and people illegally dumping heavy trash in neighborhood streets. But mostly we talk about what she and other volunteers are doing to clean the neighborhood and give it back the beauty and dignity it used to have.
To find out more, go to their website: www.sehta.org
Arlette Rangel is a UT graduated and AmeriCorps member. She is the first person in her family to go to college and she tells us how her father framed the importance of her achievement: since he is not rich, he cannot hand down money or property but he can leave his children with an education. Their mother was also present for them during their formative years and the siblings are achieving their potential.
This is in big part possible because of Ann Stiles who is the executive director of Project GRAD Houston and Melissa Martinez, their director of College Success. Their Org is reaching out in underserved schools to help children graduate from high school and go on to more important degrees. You can find out about their programs on their website: www.projectgradhouston.org
Elizabeth Vallette is the director of USO Houston and a former captain with the U.S. Army. We talk about the place of women warriors, especially since the Marine Corps is advertising the graduation of new female recruits. We also discuss the unfair difficulties soldiers face reintegrating society after deployment and the small creature comforts that matter to servicemen while they travel and when they’re abroad. This is where we can help by donating goods or cash. All donations to the USO Houston go to help their operations here in town. It is a worthy donation to think about as we head into the giving season.
Go to their website for more info and to get involved: www.uso.org/houston