SER National could not educate, employ and empower Latinos throughout the country without the on-the-ground work and commitment from affiliates like the Tejano Center for Community Concerns in Houston.

In its 25-year history, the center’s mission has remained constant: to develop education, social, health and community institutions that empower families to transform their lives.

“By providing comprehensive social services programs that respond to essential community needs, the Tejano Center has emerged as an important local resource for families and neighborhoods,” said Dr. Adriana Tamez, Interim President & CEO.

The Tejano Center was established as a nonprofit community organization to serve the East End, a predominantly low-income Hispanic area of Houston. Tejano Center offers a variety of impactful programs, including the Raul Yzaguirre Schools for Success (RYSS) Charter School, Affordable Housing Program, VOCA – Victims of Crime Act Outreach and Support, Youth Shelter and Foster Care Program, and the Baylor College of Medicine Teen Health Clinic.

“RYSS provides a K-12 college preparatory educational experience for children from surrounding neighborhoods and is committed to the success of every student, regardless of his/her academic or economic background,” said Dr. Tamez.  “I am so proud to lead a school district that devotes so much energy and so many resources to the hopes and dreams of every child who enters our doors. We have an awesome responsibility to the children and their parents, but we have proven that we are up to the task. We welcome and cherish our scholars and dedicate ourselves every day to their success.”

RYSS is a proud member of both the Houston and Brownsville communities, working alongside its parent organization—the Tejano Center for Community Concerns—to ensure effective teaching and learning for all scholars and proactively engaging parents and local businesses and organizations to share in the development of productive and responsible citizens.

A great education reveals the great potential in every child. That’s what we strive to do at the Raul Yzaguirre Schools for Success. We are committed to ensure a success story for all students in our Houston and Brownsville campuses by creating safe environments where high-quality teaching and learning can flourish and where scholars learn to be responsible citizens of our community, our state, and our nation. All of our faculty and staff are united in opening doors to college and careers for our scholars, leading them to live up to their potential and take their rightful place in moving our diverse and boundless society forward,” said Dr. Tamez.

The Tejano Center’s Affordable Housing Program aims to provide opportunities to citizens who lack resources to access affordable, quality, and safe housing. Since 2005, the program has helped more than 2,500 new homeowners and 3,500 mortgage-ready homebuyers, providing a strong foundation and empowerment for these individuals to succeed. Tejano Center serves some of the most vulnerable populations, including but not limited to, low income families, families with children, senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, non-English speaking individuals and undocumented residents.

Tejano Center for Community Concerns imageThe Home Repair Program began operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike in 2008 and has repaired over 120 homes, mainly for minority homeowners. The Disaster Case Management and Home Repair program have been revamped as a response to the immediate and long-term needs resulting from the devastation left by Hurricane Harvey. The Tejano Center is currently providing Hurricane Harvey Disaster Case Management and Home Repair services for homeowners whose primary home suffered damages from the storm and its aftermath. Through Tejano Center’s Disaster Case management, the applicants are provided with financial tools to become self-sufficient. 

The purpose of the VOCA program is to provide direct services to victims of crime through a systemic approach, supporting and guiding clients in their journey towards healing and self-sufficiency.

The Youth Shelter and Foster Care Program helps children that have been neglected and/or abused by providing a safe and loving foster home to meet their basic needs. The Tejano Center has been extremely effective in connecting qualifying foster parents to children in need of positive relationships and healthy living conditions.

Located on the RYSS campus, the Baylor College of Medicine Teen Health Clinic is open to RYSS scholars and their families as well as the community. The clinic serves young men and women ages 13 to 24 for immunizations, wellness exams, treatment for minor illness, birth control, STD testing and counseling, health education, pregnancy testing and counseling, sports physicals and health screenings.

“The impacts the Tejano Center is making in the community directly align with the goals of SER National,” said Janey Appia, Chairman of the SER National Board of Directors. “It’s not just about placing people in jobs. It’s about providing them with the education, empowerment and support they need to infuse their lives with sustainability and value.”

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