Archive | January 2016

January Newsletter: A Slice of APIE

Quick Bites of APIE: Benefits of Being a Volunteer
  • Increases self-confidence– volunteering can create a significant boost to your self-esteem and overall life satisfaction
  • Brings fulfillment– volunteer work can be energizing, inspiring, and give you an escape from the everyday work flow
  • Helps develop new skills– it’s an opportunity to enhance your current skill set and carry those skills to advance your career
  • A healthier body– research shows those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression compared to those who do not volunteer
  • Increases happiness– researchers studied the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness and found the more you volunteer the happier you are

Donor Spotlight: You!Donor Spotlight You

As we begin a new year, APIE wants to spotlight YOU! With help from donors just like you, we were able to connect over 1,500 volunteers to 2,680 students across 129 AISD campuses this past year. As we look toward 2016, we have exciting things planned for donors who make our work possible.

With help from generous donors like you, APIE’s programs and volunteers provide real change in students’ lives. Our 8th Grade Math Classroom Coaching significantly increased in girls’ academic self-confidence in 2014-15, and 200 high school students are college ready thanks to our College Advocates. In 2016 APIE will launch Career Conversations, an exciting new program focused on STEM career exploration for middle school students. APIE is here to support students through all stages of their academic and career goals, but we couldn’t do it without you.

With program and volunteer on-boarding costs continuing to increase, our donors are more important than ever in keeping APIE’s programs alive. While the majority of our income comes from grants and our founding partners, AISD and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, we still rely entirely on the generosity of others to make up the rest of our budget. Become an APIE Donor and enjoy perks, including exclusive invites to our upcoming events and a chance to have lunch with our Executive Director.


Volunteer Spotlight: David Juarez

David Juarez

David Juarez is a retired City of Austin employee who spends his free time volunteering with APIE. While most Coaches tutor in one or two classes, David tutors in 8 at Covington, Martin, and Mendez. As the first person in his family to attend college, David aimed high and received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and had a successful 30 year career.

He says, “I have always tried to be a role model especially to those who are economically disadvantaged students. Having a similar childhood provides me a good understanding of the challenges they face.” He wants his students to know, “that education provides economic and personal empowerment that allows them to make a better life for themselves and family.”

David’s APIE Coordinators say he always has a warm smile on his face, a pleasant attitude, and goes above and beyond to volunteer in classes where he is most needed. He is very reliable and supports other volunteers, even agreeing to mentor those who have asked for extra support.

What is your favorite part about volunteering?

I enjoy helping others and giving back to the community.

What are your goals this year as a Classroom Coach?

I want to be able to help students strive to achieve success.

How do you hope to reach those goals?

Each student is unique, so I try to find a way to connect and encourage each of them to try to do their best.

What advice can you give to new Coaches?

Be patient with your students. Some may not open up and appear to be interested in getting coached, but teachers have told me that those are the students who look forward to having you come back each week. Things to remember include being supportive, a good listener, sincere, and always try to encourage the students to do better.

Explain your passion for volunteerism.

I believe that any time I can spend helping someone can make a difference. It fulfills me as a person of value and compassion.

How has education played a role in your own life and career?

I was the first in my family to attend college. I received a BS in Civil Engineering and was able to have a very successful 30 year career. Education has always been a priority in raising my own kids. They understand that education has allowed me to provide them with more opportunities that lead to greater success and happiness in life.

What has been your proudest moment as an APIE volunteer?

Every year is filled with special moments, but I think the year I had several students get interested in engineering was the best. They told me they would have never thought about engineering if it wasn’t for me being there for them.

What have you learned from your experience as an APIE Coach?

I have a much greater appreciation for the teachers and volunteers. I think their presence sends a positive message to the students that the community does care.

Has volunteering with APIE affected your personal and career goals?

I have always tried to be a role model especially to those who are disadvantaged students. Having a similar childhood provides me a good understanding of the challenges they face. I want the students to know that education provides economic and personal empowerment that allows them to make a better life for themselves and family.

Volunteering with APIE made me realize that I could do more to make a difference in the lives of students. Since retiring as a civil engineer I have been working to become a middle school math teacher and look forward to having APIE Coaches in my classroom!

APIE in the Classroom: National Mentoring MonthDerrick Townsend 3

Every mentoring relationship is unique—each a connection filled with shared stories, laughter, concerns, and dreams.  In their second year of their mentor and mentee relationship, Derrick Townsend and his mentee, Julian, are building a strong personal bond.

Derrick has been mentoring since 1988, beginning with high school students and he is now mentoring Julian, a seventh grader.   Derrick describes Julian as an outstanding young man, “We hit it off from day one. He is smart and he’s trying to do all the right things in school.” Julian, whose favorite subjects in school are math and science describes the relationship as, “It’s like having an older brother or a second dad.”

Because Julian loves sports, they often spend their weekly meetings tossing a football back and forth. Derrick uses this time to talk to Julian about his goals for the week and about his accomplishments. Julian’s favorite moment of the mentoring relationship was when Derrick was able to surprise him with cupcakes for his birthday.

Derrick attributes his desire to mentor to the fact that he never had a male role model during his adolescence, and he told himself when he was growing up that, “When I have a family, I’ll be that father I didn’t have, and then I want to mentor other children as well.” Julian is glad he made that decision—getting together with Derrick is the highlight of his week.

APIE after School

Cathy Jones


February’s Lunch and Learn features APIE’s Executive Director Cathy Jones and Programs Director Veronica Cavazos presenting on the organization’s future plans and program evaluations and impact. Come learn more about our organization, meet our Executive Director, and enjoy lunch on us. To attend this event, please email to reserve your spot today.

Feb. 8 – Lunch & Learn Speaker Series with Executive Director Cathy Jones and Programs Director Veronica Cavazos RSVP

APIE Donor Meterunnamed

You can help students and mentors start 2016 strong! Would you give $16 to APIE today? That’s just $1 for each weekly mentoring session they will have together this semester.