The Dallas-based Opportunity Rising Foundation has a single goal in mind: to help lift low-income residents out of poverty through the power of education. In order to do just that, last month the DHA selected a new advisory board of North Texas leaders exceptionally knowledgeable in their prospective fields.
Opportunity Rising is a foundation dedicated to helping low income children gain access to post-secondary education by providing scholarships and grants with the help of sponsors and donors.
“Our advisory board will be instrumental in helping us provide more opportunities for more people.”
Members believe that education is key to ending the cycle of poverty and that everyone deserves the chance to pursue a higher education opportunity. Currently, over 60,000 people are receiving assistance from DHA affordable housing, and a quarter of those people are under 18 years old.
Opportunity Rising aims to help these kids and their families become self-sufficient and successful.
76 percent of Opportunity Rising scholarship recipients no longer receive government assistance and 77 percent are currently employed. To date, the organization has given over $1.5 million in scholarship funds to over 1,000 students, and hopes to foster innovation in even more young people as time goes on.
“Education is the number one way out of poverty,” DHA President and CEO of Opportunity Rising Troy Broussard said in a release. “Through the Opportunity Rising Foundation, we are strengthening our focus on higher education for the benefit of DHA residents, families and our broader North Texas community. Our advisory board will be instrumental in helping us provide more opportunities for more people.”
The estimated cost of expenses and tuition for in-state schools ranges from $23,000-$40,000 a year, which can often seem like an unattainable investment for lower income families—but Opportunity Rises tries to make that education a reality. There are also internship and mentoring opportunities for the scholars included in the program.
The DHA says the goal for the next year is to raise $350,000 and award 100 students scholarships, as well as find local and North Texas-based companies that can offer internship or apprenticeship opportunities for their scholars.
Who’s on the new board?
“Our Opportunity Rising advisory board is rich in diverse perspectives, as well as passions for helping those in need,” Broussard said in a release. “The DHA leadership has selected outstanding North Texas leaders to help us propel the Opportunity Rising Foundation to new heights in accessibility, exposure and fundraising.”
- Nakia Douglas: Douglas is currently the executive director of TRIO pre-collegiate programs at UNT Dallas. He received his undergraduate degree from Livingstone College and a Master’s in Education from HBU. He worked for Dallas ISD from 2004-2017, and is the founding principal of the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy.
- Scott Fawcett: Fawcett is the founder and CEO of Empowered Consulting, which he founded in 2002, and was also a professional golfer after graduating from Texas A&M. He is a part of an organization called Givingx100 in Frisco, which helps to raise money for Opportunity Rising.
- Byron D. Johnson: Johnson is a graduate of Texas Tech, and is currently a sales executive for Enterprise Holdings. Johnson himself grew up in DHA public housing and is representative of a success story for the program. His upbringing led him to believe that education can lead to economic independence, and he is working to make dreams become reality for others just like him.
- Drexell Owusu: Owusu attended Rice University and is the senior vice president of Education and Workforce for the Dallas Regional Chamber. Additionally, he is the founder and CEO of Brave Capital Partners, and previously served as managing director and chief of staff for Civitas Capital Group.
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