Holiday Card December 2017


October Newsletter: A Slice of APIE

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October Newsletter: A Slice of APIE

It has been a fantastic start to the school year with our programs back in action throughout AISD. Our students and teachers are enjoying another exciting year of knowledge-building and fun-filled learning made possible by YOU! We at APIE are so grateful to have you as volunteers!

“It has been a treat getting to know my students.  I’m excited to spend the year with them – and for all the learning we will do together!” – Lindsay Sobel, a Math Classroom Coach at Burnet.

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We are happy to have Melissa Huerta as a new volunteer with APIE this year! She is a Math Classroom Coach at Mendez Middle School in Mrs. Ramon’s class, who is also her daughter!

Melissa is a former accountant and was retired, but recently began working again at the Texas Real Estate Commission. She loves to volunteer and was inspired as a child by her parents who were active volunteers.

How has your experience as a Math Classroom Coach been so far?

It has been going really well. The group of girls I am with are really nice. I do think they feel more comfortable with me because I am their teacher’s mother.

What is your favorite part of volunteering?

Talking with my group and hearing their stories and their background. I try to understand where they are coming from. I also enjoy learning new things. I review the lessons prior to our session and make sure I can confidently support the students before I show up in the classroom.

As a volunteer what impact do you hope to have on your students?

I want to hopefully instill in them that education matters. I want kids to understand that regardless of their situation, they can be successful.

KLRU American Graduate | Karen Yokem


We are fortunate to be a part of KLRU’s American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen project. Click on and watch their video above featuring Karen Yokum, an IBM Math Classroom Coaching volunteer, sharing her story about being an APIE Mentor.

Donor Spotlight | Silicon Labs

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Silicon Labs Supports APIE

Photo Left to Right: Bopanna Malachira, Mario, Jackie Padgett, Cathy Jones, Jean Evers, Terrencio and Sridhar Hariharan

The Silicon Labs corporate giving program is primarily focused on education, specifically STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education for Austin’s middle and high school at-risk and minority youth. Like APIE, Silicon Labs views volunteer work as an opportunity to build a stronger community. For many years, Silicon Labs’ team members have been engaged volunteers and supporters of students in APIE programs, playing a key role as Math Classroom Coaches and Mentors. Located in the heart of downtown Austin, Silicon Labs, an innovative semiconductor manufacturer, is dedicated to improving the Austin community.

In 2017, Silicon Labs partnered with APIE to provide essential funding for Math Classroom Coaching at Martin Middle School in East Austin.  Silicon Labs’ financial and volunteer support has been key to APIE’s program growth at Martin.  We are honored to be partnered with a company that is dedicated to improving students’ success throughout the Austin community.

Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s Week of Giving

22538775_10155898401322148_2909696376683546386_oWe had a fun day with our volunteers participating in the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation Week of Giving! We would like to thank the Zenith Insurance Company’s team members for coming out to APIE, and helping us with our Math Classroom Coaching material preparation.

Happy Hour Recap

Beginner's ChallengeAPIE volunteers, donors, staff and board members had a wonderful evening mingling and sharing their exciting APIE experiences at Contigo!  We love our volunteers and hope to see YOU at our next gathering.

AISD BOND | November 7th

Would you like more information about the Austin ISD bond? Please click the image above.

Giving Tuesday | November 28th

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This holiday season, give the gift of a mentor or a tutor to students across Austin ISD. Giving Tuesday is a worldwide day of giving to non-profits. APIE greatly appreciates your volunteer work with Austin ISD students, and we are able to create even more of an impact through generous donations.  We look forward to your participation.

All donors will be entered into a raffle for a $50 gift card to a local restaurant.

Mark your calendars to support our Mentoring and Math Classroom Coaching programs on November 28th.

Austin Marathon | February 18th
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The 2018 Austin Gives Miles program connects Central Texas non-profit organizations to passionate race participants willing to fundraise and promote awareness for causes that give back to our local community.

Sign Up Now to Run or Fundraise for Our Cause!

Individuals can select Austin Partners In Education as their team to run with and add meaning to training and race day miles by supporting Austin ISD students.

To sign up for the 2018 Austin Marathon go to h and select Austin Partners In Education as your team and official Austin Gives Miles Charity.

To fundraise for APIE go to and select ‘Fundraise for this Campaign’


Email Kiki McGuinn at



August Newsletter: A Slice of APIE


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          Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year from our Executive Director, Cathy Jones:

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APIE in the Classroom | Register Today! 

Registration is now open for our Math Classroom Coaching and Mentoring Programs.  Join APIE and support Austin students by becoming a Math Classroom Coach or Mentor today!

Interested in volunteering?
Check out all of our opportunities below and click to sign up!


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We’re always looking for committed volunteers! For more information, please contact Andrea Panter at


Kendra Scott Gives Back

Join Austin Partners In Education for a Kendra Gives Back Party on Friday, September 8th, at Kendra Scott South Congress Ave. Enjoy complimentary sips and sweets while shopping for jewels. 20% of all proceeds benefit Austin Partners In Education. 


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Austin Marathon

The 2018 Austin Gives Miles program connects Central Texas non-profit organizations to passionate race participants willing to fundraise and raise awareness for causes that give back to our local community. 

Sign Up Now to Run or Fundraise for Our Cause!

Individuals can select Austin Partners In Education as their team to run with and add meaning to training and race day miles by supporting Austin ISD students.  

To sign up for the 2018 Austin Marathon go to and select Austin Partners In Education as your team and official Austin Gives Miles Charity.

To fundraise for APIE go to and select ‘Fundraise for this Campaign’  


Email Kiki McGuinn at

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Welcome back, classroom coaches and mentors! Please join APIE on Wednesday, October 11th, at Contigo for a fun fall happy hour with the APIE Team!

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Would you like more information about the AISD bond?

Please click the image below. 

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June Newsletter: A Slice of APIE

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APIE is celebrating the completion of another great school year!

It has been a fun and productive year for all our programs and we owe our volunteers a big, THANK YOU.  Your time and presence make a difference for our students.

  • Math Classroom Coaching helped students improve their math skills, and boosted their academic self-confidence in math.
  • Our high school students became college ready and some participated in our new Pathways to Self-Advocacy Program.
  • Mentors made connections with students that will support them on their academic journey.
  • Career Conversations exposed students to different STEM careers.

Keep scrolling to see what’s been going on at APIE this spring and how we honored our volunteers and school champions during Celebrate and Salute.


Quick Bites of APIE | Community Volunteers Share Their Experiences

  • Lucy Badillo – “I wanted to be impactful, and to be impactful you just need someone to talk to who’s not judging.”
  • Scott Byars – “It’s a great opportunity for City of Austin employees to participate within their community.”
  • Principal Shannon Sellstrom – “APIE volunteers are always here with a smile and positive attitude; and what a difference they make!”
  • Spikes Kangera – “I enjoy working with the kids each year and the subject matter suits me.”
  • Dorcus Moore – “When I see a child open up and become empowered to learn and grow, I think that’s the best thing in the world.”

Celebrate & Salute 2017!

This year’s Celebrate & Salute events were a wonderful success – bringing together the AISD community, volunteers, and school leaders to recognize excellence throughout the district and honor those who give their time and commitment to make our schools a better place. Read more here.


Volunteer Champion| Becky Chen

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Volunteer Champion Becky Chen (left) with APIE Math Coordinator Emily Arnold (right)

As a Math Classroom Coach for over a decade, Becky Chen has long been a consistent presence at APIE. Since her first days volunteering at Bedichek Middle School to her current volunteer position at Mendez, Becky has arrived at each class with a smile and a friendly attitude.

Her experience as a manager at Austin Water Utility, her love of math and her patience and flexibility make her an incredible asset to AISD students and the APIE program. In addition to her exceptional volunteer work, Becky has assisted APIE with volunteer recruitment efforts at the City of Austin. She continues to share her experience and encourage her co-workers to volunteer. We are honored to recognize Becky as APIE’s 2017 Volunteer Champion of the Year.

Donor Champion | Michael and Susan Dell Foundation

Since 2007, The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation has been a generous funder, advocate, and partner to APIE. MSDF’s commitment to APIE ensures our programs will be successful and continue to impact Austin ISD students.MSDF

The MSDF team members have been engaged supporters of APIE’s work, playing a key role in maximizing resources to serve AISD students. The Foundation and staff have been instrumental in supporting the growth and development of APIE’s programs, and have provided support in the creation of APIE’s three-year strategic plan, participation in Mission Capital’s Innovation Lab, and developing a logic model for our pilot program, Career Conversations.

As a highly strategic organization, the Foundation is committed to regional collaboration among organizations that support student success in Austin, of which APIE is a direct benefactor. This is best understood by MSDF’s explanation of their approach: “We push ourselves to experience the reality of the children and families we serve, preferring to work with our partner’s shoulder to shoulder to gain the biggest impact and learn what the next big opportunity or big idea could be. We approach our work with the needs of the community in mind and work directly with our partners from idea to implementation.”

APIE in the Classroom | College Readiness Facts and Stats

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Lauren, College Readiness Senior at Lanier High School


This year, APIE’s College Readiness Program served ten Austin ISD high schools and supported over 500 students. Not only did we help these students meet college readiness standards, our program also produced the following outcomes:

  • 91% of our students’ motivation to learn improved.
  • 97% of our students now know the steps needed to continue their education.
  • 99% of our students now know the importance of entering college academically prepared.

“I am grateful this program exists. I now have a detailed plan of where I want to go in my future.” – Lauren, Lanier HS student


APIE After School | UTeach Science Olympiad

This semester, APIE launched an exciting new partnership with UTeach Outreach. This collaboration has led to APIE recruiting, training and managing 12 STEM professionals in three after-school science clubs.

UTeach Outreach is a course at the University of Texas where UT students run STEM-focused after-school clubs and camps. The 7th-8th grade clubs met weekly for 7 weeks at Burnet, Covington and Fulmore Middle schools.  Volunteers guided students in lessons about experimental design, forensic science, and food science/nutrition. Students and volunteers enjoyed the active, hands-on UTeach lessons.

On May 15th, the program culminated in a mini-Science Olympiad held at the University of Texas, where the 7th-8th grade team from Covington Middle School won top honors! After a successful 1st semester, APIE is looking forward to continuing and expanding this partnership with UTeach in 2017-2018.


Spring Day of Caring with Sprint

This Spring Day of Caring, APIE spent the day with a wonderful group of volunteers from Sprint.  “Thank you for cutting out materials and decorations for teachers at Brooke Elementary!” – The APIE Team


Philanthropitch 2017


January Newsletter: A Slice of APIE

Welcome Back, Volunteers!
It’s National Mentoring Month and APIE is excited to jump into the new year by paying tribute to our wonderful, dedicated mentors. Sit back, relax and read on to learn more about the impactful programs, events and opportunities happening with APIE due to your commitment and support. 
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Quick Bites of APIE | How To Be A Mentor
  • Build Trust – Make sure your mentee knows you are available and you care about what they think and how they feel.
  • Listen – Ask open ended questions. Listen twice as much as you speak, and reflect back on what you hear from your mentee.
  • Encourage – Focus on the positive and on doing things with rather than for your mentee. Share your own experiences to help them make decisions.
  • Be Reliable – Set expectations you can live up to. Be consistent and persistent by living up to your commitments.
  • Have Fun! – Do things your mentee enjoys, but also expose them to new ideas. Remember to be understanding and to have a sense of humor.

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APIE in the Classroom | National Mentoring MonthNMM_Seal_2016

This January, we are celebrating National Mentoring Month.  Mentoring is a relationship between caring adults and children that shows young people someone cares about them, assures children they are not alone when dealing with struggles, and makes them feel like they matter.

Mentoring is an investment of time.  It is the act of showing up and caring for a child. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful, positive effects on young people in a variety of personal and academic situations.  Students who meet regularly with a mentor have better school attendance, maintain better attitudes towards school, and a greater chance of pursuing higher education.

APIE’s mentoring program connects adults with students to support and guide them during the school year.  Mentors are needed in every grade level from Kindergarten to 12th grade.  February 5th is the final day to sign up as an APIE mentor for the 2016-2017 school year.  Please consider supporting a student through mentoring by clicking here.

Volunteer Spotlight | Tony Hanson
tonimentor03Tony has been mentoring for two years. He takes an hour off from his job at the General Land Office every week to meet with his mentee at Reagan High School. Tony has always had someone to walk beside him as a mentor. “They kind of let me learn as I walked, but they were there to let me bounce things off of them as well.  That’s something I’ve always wanted to do for someone else.”

Tell me about your most memorable experience with your mentee.

While talking with my mentee, I assumed that he probably doesn’t listen to the same kind of music that I do. I don’t listen to a lot of hip-hop, but he did and some of the artists he was talking about I hadn’t heard of. So to connect with him, I went back and listened to some of those artists. That really was a breakthrough moment for us. I believe that was significant. You could see his eyes light up like, “Okay, he’s not this old fogey; he does connect with me.”

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a mentor?

The biggest challenge at times is time. Mentoring to me is really about time and the investment of time. I’ve come to realize that I can make an investment in people by giving them money, or different things. But when you can invest time, I think that’s what really transcends all of that. The challenge is saying, “Stop, turn off the machine, get your keys, and go talk with my mentee.”

Another challenge is asking, “Are we going to connect?” If we don’t connect then I make the turnaround like, “Is it me? What can I change?” But I’ve come to realize that, “Tony, you don’t need to change. You be you, he will be who he is and hopefully you can find some common ground.”

What change have you seen in yourself since you’ve become a mentor?

Initially, I always go in thinking I’m going to help someone else, and I think I have. But a lot of times, it comes back to me because I’m very introverted, and this allows me to come out of that shell. It allows me to work on me, and then I see some of the results when I hear my mentee talk about how what we talked about worked. Or he says, “I got this situation, what do you think?” That’s what I continue to see as an improvement; it helps me to be less introverted.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a mentor?

Try it. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has a quote: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'” That to me is what we’re here for. We’re not necessarily here in this space for ourselves, but it’s walking with someone else through life. When you’re talking about being a mentor, a lot of times people think of it as being formal. It doesn’t have to be formal. You don’t have to be so afraid to share your experiences. Be willing to listen more than talk and just be present. That’s what I’ve come to realize not just in young people, but with people period. Just your presence really does speak volumes to them.

Donor Spotlight | The Community

2016 was a fantastic year for Austin Partners In Education and it was made possible by YOU! The year brought amazing programs and resources to over 2,000 APIE students.

Your contributions allowed us to successfully pilot “Career Conversations,” a program dedicated to introducing middle school students to STEM field careers.

Your support further fostered APIE’s “UTeach Outreach,” an after school science program that will bring college students to the school with experiments designed and taught by UT students and assisted by APIE volunteers.

Among other firsts for APIE was our involvement with “Hour of Code,” a global movement by Computer Science Education Week and Our volunteers and staff brought “Hour of Code” into Burnet and Martin middle schools to teach the basics of coding and to share about career opportunities in STEM fields.

It is through your financial support that APIE is able to provide these types of programs to Austin ISD students. Thank you for your support in and out of the classroom!

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

APIE’s AmeriCorps VISTA’s marched alongside AISD’s Peer Assistance, Leadership & Service (PALS) students in honor and remembrance of the great civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


APIE after School | Partnership with UTeach

APIE is excited to announce its collaboration with UTeach to bring community volunteers to after-school STEM Clubs. APIE volunteers and UTeach students will work weekly with small groups of middle school students, culminating in a mini-Science Olympiad competition at the University of Texas.

Beginning on February 27th, APIE and UTeach will launch an after-school STEM Club at Burnet and Covington middle schools. APIE volunteers will be assigned to a small group of 7th/8th grade students for the 7 week program working on topics ranging from experimental design, anatomy & physiology, to food science and forensic science. Volunteers will support students through weekly UTeach hands-on lessons and share information about their STEM careers.  The Burnet after-school club will meet Mondays from 4:15-5:15 and Covington’s club will meet on Wednesdays from 4:30-5:30.

All students and volunteers will be invited to the mini-Science Olympiad on May 15th at the University of Texas campus. For more information, or to volunteer for this program, please contact Amy Moore at


Run for APIE

This February, we hope you’ll run (or jog, or walk) with APIE. Help us reach our goal of $5,000 to provide academic support to economically disadvantaged students in Austin. Join our team or support our runners by clicking below!


Amplify Austin