Site Coordinators are assigned to individual school sites in the northeast quadrant of the Houston Independent School District (HISD). These project managers are responsible for the coordination of daily UEI activities and the delivery of services to youth participants. The project manager is recognized by the school's youth as their "mentor on campus".
Boys with identified academic problems have the opportunity to receive assistance with homework or to study for examinations. Academic competitions are held involving spelling skills and knowledge of historical events and the community. Outside tutoring resources (fraternities, corporations, and adult volunteers) are constantly pursued and coordinated for those students with extreme academic problems.
During life-skills workshops, boys receive instruction in areas of drug awareness, violence prevention, personal health and hygiene, decision-making, human sexuality, interpersonal relations, and communication skills.
Strong leaders are necessary in building a healthy community. Emphasis is placed on leadership-development throughout the school year in life skills sessions. Opportunities for leadership are encouraged and evaluated at three yearly leadership retreats and during community service projects and special events.
Teenagers are given the opportunity to engage in five various business ventures: Primary components; Graphics Design, Photography, Music Appreciation, Financial Literacy and Robotics. Reading Enrichment and College Bound Preparation have been added as educational enhancements
Special community service activities are developed at all sites during the school year. Youth volunteers assist in community health fairs, neighborhood clean-up projects, smoke detector installation at senior citizens' homes, stocking shelves at area food pantries, and coordinating voter registration drives. During the summer project, the boys perform community service projects in the morning, attend life-skills seminars in the afternoon, and participate in supervised team-building activities.
Teen Enterprise Center (TEC)
The Teen Enterprise Center (TEC) is an incubator for youth entrepreneurial-skill development. A component of the Urban Enrichment Institute (Formerly the Fifth Ward Enrichment Program) after-school and weekend curriculum, the TEC is comprised of five adult-supervised business activities that focus on teamwork, self-discipline, product quality, and customer service.
From its beginning as two independent start-up businesses housed at two separate schools, the original B&E Club (Business and Enterprise ) has grown! The T-Shirt Printing Shop (founded at E. O. Smith Middle School in 1994) and the computer repair shop (which began as a pilot program at Wheatley High School in 1995) At the time TEC's equipment ranged from printing stations, film-editing monitors, computer components, paint brushes and scaffolds. Officially opened August 1999 at Lyons Avenue, the Teen Enterprise Center had also housed a dark-room for film developing (photography) and screen production (silk-screening), a multi-purpose conference room, and administrative office space.
The Teen Enterprise Center is the culmination of a short, explosive period of expansion and growth by the Fifth Ward Enrichment Program and its youth-run businesses. As early as spring 1995, the T-shirt printing shop, then named TKO Enterprize, was the only teen operated business in UEI. However, by the summer of 1999, the UEI teen enterprise portfolio included computer repair/refurbishing, the filmmakers project, a bicycle repair shop, and the mural/neighborhood art project. Shifting gears, TEC is now centrally located at the Fifth Ward Multi-Service Center alongside of our administrative offices, where many of the components have been upgraded to fit our participants of the future, with our primary components; Graphics Design, Photography, Music Appreciation, Financial Literacy and Robotics. Reading Enrichment and College Bound Preparation have been added as educational enhancements.
Providing skills and opportunities for earning is the basic focus of economic empowerment. In practice, TEC enterprise activities and training courses are developed for adolescent males. Youths involved receive incentives and awards while learning teamwork, self-discipline, product quality, and customer service through participation in business ventures with all of its sub-components.
College Access Liaison (CAL)
The College Access Liaison (CAL) will be the resource for UEI youth and their parents regarding the delivery of all information and tools pertaining to college access, the college admissions process, pursuing financial aid, best matches for graduating 12th graders, accessing on-line resources and attainment regarding post-secondary education. The Liaison will coordinate parent informational meetings, help schedule mock and real ACT-SAT tests, monitor students progress towards high school graduation, coordinate college tours, and establish and oversee college awareness resource rooms at the three high school project sites.
Parent and Family Liaison (PFL)
The Parent and Family Liaison (PFL) coordinates activities for, and acts as a mentor to, the parents and guardians of the male youth participants in the Urban Enrichment Institute (formerly the Fifth Ward Enrichment Program). These activities are focused on creating a parent support system that enhances parenting skills and empowers parents to better support all of their children’s activities, whether in UEI, at school or in other community programs. Activities include monthly parent meetings, parenting-skill classes, workshops, leadership retreats, parent-child outings, and parents’ review the UEI life-management skills curriculum taught in the after-school program.