Eighty of Houston’s top financial services professionals arrived at Houston Academy for International Studies Saturday where dozens of buckets of paint, planks of wood, and shovels will awaited them to transform the recently vandalized campus into a warm, inviting, campus the high school students can be proud of.
Each year, national financial services powerhouse, Appreciation Financial, selects cities where they do business to do service projects to help instill their corporate motto of giving back. Houston Academy for International Studies was spotted on the local news by company executives when the campus was targeted by vandals.
CEO Terry Kennedy knew his team help, “Teachers and students are working hard each day to create a future, they don’t deserve to have to walk past graffiti. We are going to give these kids a place to learn where they can be proud to come to school each day.”
Houston Academy for International Studies Principal Melissa Jacobs welcomed the volunteers, “I thank the group for selecting our campus for this gift,” said Jacobs. “We work hard to prepare students for careers and life with a focus on international studies – we want them to have a campus to launch from that they are proud of. This is an amazing way to highlight our students and staff!”
The volunteers repainted several areas of the campus. They also built garden boxes that now stand ready to energize the school’s gardening club. The makeover was topped off with a transformation of the schools plain cafeteria and multipurpose room into a colorful, space highlighting the urban contemporary feel of the school’s location and flags from around the world.
The highlight of the day was Dominique Moore, Vice President of Appreciation Financial surprising Principal Jacobs with a gift of a $2,500 scholarship for one student she will select who embodies true appreciation for their campus and classmates. The funds are intended to help the student travel as the school has a strong focus on learning about other countries and cultures and creating global citizens out of Houston natives.
“I’m excited to learn who will earn the scholarship,” said Moore. “Principal Jacobs has done phenomenal work and we are honored to provide her some additional resources to ensure these deserving students thrive.”