Awards & Accomplishments

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AISD AwardSeedling has a wonderful history of accomplishment and recognition for the high quality and impact of its mentor program.

 

 

 

2016 -

  • Ann Adalist-Estrin, national expert and Director of the National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated trains School Support Contacts and other professionals who work with children challlenged by parental incarceration. Ann also speaks at a Donor Appreciation evening. - Seedling Mentor Program is one of two programs in the nation that serve children of the incarcerated in a school-based and collaborative program and she talks about Seedling throughout the country.
  • Austin's Fab Five - A Gala Event benefiting Seedling Foundation honors Chief Art Acevedo, Chief of Police, City of Austin; Judge Darlene Byrne, Travis County Judge, 126th Civil District Court, NCJFCJ Board President; Sheryl Cole, Attorney & Former Mayor Pro Tem, City of Austin; Kalí Rourke, Founding Seedling Board President & Philanthropist; and Charles Smith, Chief Deputy Executive Commissioner, Texas Health & Human Services Commission.
  • Seedling Foundation is named an Impact Austin Finalist for 2016.
  • Seedling Mentor program sets another record with 617 mentor matches and an over 70% mentor retention rate, with many mentors in 3-5+ year relationships with their mentees.
  • Two Seedling College Scholarship Graduates are congratulated for their success.
  • Three $5,000 Seedling College Scholarships are awarded to 8th grade students in the Seedling Mentor Program.

2015 -

  • Seedling Mentor Program celebrates its 10th Anniversary!
  • Austin's Fab Five - a Gala Event benefiting Seedling Foundation is a huge success and honors Pastor Rob Koke, Judge Orlinda Naranjo, SaulPaul, Dr. Gloria Williams, and Vince Young as outstanding supporters of children and causes that support them in the Austin area.
  • Seedling Mentor program sets another record with 608 mentor matches and a 74% mentor retention rate, with many mentors in 3-5+ year relationships with their mentees.
  • Seedling Foundation Founder, John Blazier is inducted into the Austin Partners in Education Hall of Fame.
  • Seedling Mentor Program pilots in Pfluger Elementary School in Hays County ISD. 
  • Three Seedling College Scholarship Graduates are congratulated at the 10th Annual Mentor Appreciation Event, featuring keynote speaker, SaulPaul.
  • Five $5,000 Seedling College Scholarships are awarded to 8th grade students in the Seedling Mentor Program.
  • Seedling Mentor Program is chosen by Chive Charities to receive a $25,000 award and national exposure at Chive Charities.

2014 -

  • Seedling Mentor Program pilots in five Del Valle ISD schools, with the help of a Travis County grant and assistance from the Travis County Sheriff's Department.
  • Seedling Mentor Program sets another record with over 550 mentor matches.
  • Seedling Foundation is chosen by Lights. Camera. Help. as a recipient of a public service announcement through its "Reel Change Frenzy"campaign. Bright Giant Creative Group's excellent video for Seedling is chosen as the "People's Choice" video at the film festival.
  • Seedling Foundation is recognized as a "Valued Partner" by the Del Valle Independent School District.
  • Three Seedling College Scholarship Graduates are congratulated, a former Seedling College Scholarship winner (Zaira Garcia) brings the Mentor Appreciation Event Attendees to their feet with her keynote address, and Seedling sets another record for attendance at this increasingly popular event.
  • Six $5,000 Seedling College Scholarships are awarded to 8th grade students in the Seedling Mentor Program.
  • 22 facilitators, representing 20 campuses and all six of Seedling's Mentor Directors attended a four day Grief and Loss Summer Institute, presented by Seedling Foundation and supported by AISD.  

2013 - 

  • Seedling Foundation is recognized as Austin Independent School District’s “Organization of the Year.”
  • Seedling Mentor Program reaches a record 500 mentor matches for the year.
  • Seedling Foundation is awarded $6,000 in BuildASign's inaugural Philanthropitch funding competition
  • One more Seedling College Scholarship Graduate is congratulated. 
  • Six $5,000 Seedling College Scholarships are awarded to 8th grade students in the Seedling Mentor Program in the biggest Mentor Appreciation event yet.

2012 - 

  • Miss America 2012, Miss Laura Kaeppeler speaks out for the Seedling Mentor Program at the annual Mentor Appreciation Event. Ms. Kaeppeler’s personal experience as a child of an incarcerated parent makes her a compelling and articulate advocate for the children Seedling Foundation serves. 
  • A record number of Mentors, School Support Personnel, AISD Administration and Trustees and guests attend the Mentor Appreciation Event where 447 Seedling Mentors are recognized.
  • The promise is fulfilled once again, as two more Seedling College Scholarship graduates are recognized for completion of high school and acceptance to the colleges of their choice.
  • Three $5,000 Seedling College Scholarships are awarded to 8th graders in the Seedling Mentor Program. 

2011 - 

  • Ann Adalist-Estrin, national expert and Director of the National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated trained Counselors throughout the district speaks at a Donor Appreciation evening. - Seedling Mentoring Program served more children than ever before....445 children were in relationships, Seedling is at 34 AISD Campuses and is supporting 30 additional schools as mentees moved and their mentors followed them.     
  • The 4th Annual Mentor University Saturday Academy in collaboration with Communities in Schools and 8 Mentor Support Luncheons are held, to boost mentor skills and share best practices.-Seedling pilots “Future by Design,” at Kealing Middle School, serving African American AVID students.
  • WICSEC (Western Interstate Child Support Enforcement Council) awards Seedling Foundation with a $9,000 award.  Seedling is nominated for this honor by our friends at the Child Support Division of the Attorney General's Office.
  • The first two recipients of the Seedling College Scholarships graduate, gain acceptance to the colleges of their choice, and claim the promise made four years earlier. These young women received a standing ovation from over 300 mentors and community supporters at the Mentor Appreciation Event.
  • Three $5,000 Seedling College Scholarships are awarded to 8th graders in the Seedling Mentor Program.

2010 - 

  • Linder Elementary names Seedling Foundation its “Partner of the Year.”
  • Three $5,000 Seedling College Scholarships are awarded to 8th graders in the Seedling Mentor Program.

2009 - 

  • Seedling brings its Mentor Program to 400 children, in four school districts, and in 33 schools. 
  • Seedling Mentor Program is identified by the Austin Independent School District as one of only six “program treasures” or programs worthy of study and replication. 
  • One $5,000 Seedling College Scholarship is presented to an 8th grade student being mentored in the Seedling Mentor Program.

2008 - 

  • Executive Director Sari Waxler is recognized as Austin Partners in Education "Mentor of the Year" for 2008 and Seedling Mentor Program is a finalist for "Outstanding Program of the Year."
  • Seedling Mentor Program begins its Mentor University Saturday Academy program to provide more in-depth training and information to its mentors.
  • Two $5,000 Seedling College Scholarships are offered to 8th grade students being mentored in the Seedling Mentor Program.

2007 - 

  • Seedling partners with 19 schools in AISD, adds a school in Pflugerville and two in Round Rock ISD and affects over 200 children.
  • At the invitation of the Seedling Foundation, journalist and noted author Nell Bernstein (All Alone in the World, Children of the Incarcerated), national expert and Director of the National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated, Ann Adalist-Estrin, and co-author of the Children's Bill of Rights for children of the incarcerated, Dee Ann Newell, come to Austin to speak to mentors and train the Austin ISD Guidance and Counseling professionals. This training of school counseling professionals around issues pertaining to children of the incarcerated is the first of its kind in the country.
  • Two $5,000 Seedling College Scholarships are offered for the first time to 8th graders who are being mentored in the Seedling Mentor Program.

2006 - 

  • Seedling Foundation wins a $381,000 three-year grant from the United States Department of Health & Human Services.  During the first year of the grant, the Foundation more than triples the scope of the program and affects more than 150 children in 17 AISD schools.
  • Seedling Foundation is recognized in the National National Mentoring Children of Prisoners e-newsletter as a "Top Performer for 2006."

2005 - 

  • Seedling Foundation pilots the Seedling Mentor Program at four elementary schools and one middle school in Austin Independent School District, in response to requests from Principals to serve this underserved and under-identified demographic in their enrollments.  The response is overwhelming, and Seedling is inspired to apply for federal funding to expand the program into more schools.
  • Seedling Mentor Program is chosen as Program of the Year by Austin Partners in Education.

Prior History

School to Career Highlights

● The Seedling Foundation funded the first two Career Pathway Institutes for the Austin Independent School District. At William B. Travis High School, the Foundation worked with the Hotel and Restaurant Associations in the design and construction of a 6,500 square foot state of the art teaching kitchen for the Institute of Hospitality & Culinary Arts at Travis.

● Seedling sponsored a study trip for twelve students who participated in a 3-week internship in Ireland during which they studied with great chefs and specialists in world renowned hotels.

● Seedling Foundation spearheaded the conversion of 10,000 square feet of old homemaking labs at Lanier High School into a state of the art facility for the Lanier Health Sciences Institute, now known as the W.Neal Kocurek Health Science Institute.

● The Automotive & Body Repair Institute at Crockett, which opened in the spring of 2008 as a joint project of AISD and ACC, was made possible by funding leveraged by the Seedling Foundation. 

Technology Support

Technology is extremely important in the education of our children. Over a three-year period working with INTEL Teach to the Future and some very outstanding technology focused instructional specialists, the Foundation made considerable progress in enhancing the computer literacy of classroom teachers. We have provided several high schools with state of the art computer labs and worked with local high tech companies to provide the technical support to sustain these systems on individual campuses. Travis High School and Reagan High School benefitted from free evening computer literacy courses featuring extensive training in areas ranging from basic word processing to network administration. Over 4,000 adults completed various programs and reported having obtained better jobs as a result. In 2005 the Foundation formed a partnership with Summitt Elementary School PTA and provided matching funds to make a new computer lab possible for their children. In 2006 more matching funds were leveraged to purchase computers for the magnet program at Kealing Middle School, which made JAVA programming classes possible. Though not an active area of support for the Foundation currently, the effects of these contributions are alive and well in Austin ISD schools

Fine Arts

The Seedling Foundation is a fan of the Fine Arts in schools.

For many years, Seedling Foundation partnered with the Zachary Scott Theater in Austin in bringing their Project InterACT program to AISD schools. The ZSTC Project InterAct players bring an original, interactive and highly engaging full theatrical performance to the schools, and then ZSTC follows up with curriculum enhancers that allow the teachers to continue the fun and great experience in the classroom. 

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