The Last Word: T.D. Jakes on His Foundation’s STEAM Academy Program

The T.D. Jakes Foundation, Dallas Mavericks, and Goldman Sachs announced the winners of its free, two-week immersive 'Hackathon' for kids aged 14 to 18. Six local high school students won for developing an app for people suffering from mental illness to get the help they need.

The chairman of T.D. Jakes Foundation has today's "Last Word" on Dallas Innovates.

“This is a bridge I want you to cross—and have a good time crossing over it. It’s going to change your life.

T.D. Jakes
T.D. Jakes Foundation
.…welcoming students to the foundation’s third annual STEAM Academy program earlier this month.

Here's "who said what" in Dallas Innovates Every Day.

JUNE 28, 2022

Bishop Jakes shared the message above with 386 high school students attending in person or virtually from 24 U.S. states and eight countries as far away as South Africa and the United Kingdom.

He was welcoming the students to the T.D. Jakes Foundation’s third annual STEAM Academy, a free, two-week immersive “hackathon” that challenged students from age 14 to 18 to solve complex problems

Presented in early June by the Dallas Mavericks and powered by Goldman Sachs, the hackathon enabled students to work alongside Goldman Sachs engineers as they navigated the engineering process. They were guided on how to ideate, prototype an idea, and communicate with impact.

Winners Announced

Today the foundation announced the hackathon’s six winners. Participating together as Team Flourish, the winning Dallas-area high school students are Caleb Cox, 15, Gabriel Crutchfield, 18, Savannah Crutchfield, 17, Katelyn Demars, 15, Ju-Sky Dunn, 14, and Alan Samineedi, 16. The team, which competed against four other top groups, developed an app to help people with mental illness get the help they need.

“I actually didn’t even know what engineering was until I joined,” said Caleb Cox of Cedar Hill. “But now that the program is over and we won, I think I might give engineering a try.”

The winners get free tickets to a Mavs game, compliments of Goldman Sachs. Along with all the other participating students, they also got good advice from Goldman Sachs Co-Chief Information Officer George Lee.

“Regardless of your career, your job is going to become a tech job,” Lee told the students. “If you want to build code and write software—that’s awesome—if not, you still need to know how this world works. The language of tech is going to make you successful no matter what you do.”


For other revealing quotes about what’s new and next in North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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R E A D   N E X T

  • With Dallas ranked as one of the top cities in America for tech pros, UT Dallas and Fullstack have launched four skills training bootcamps focused on coding, cybersecurity, data analytics, and DevOps. The online bootcamps begin in November with tuition at $11,995 each.

  • The private donations by local companies and foundations are for the Dallas R.E.A.L. Time Rapid Rehousing initiative. Its goal: house more than 2,700 homeless people and families over the next two years. The $10M in private funds will complement $62M in federal funds allocated by local governments and DHA, the North Texas housing authority.

  • Forefront Living's Presbyterian Village North senior living community in North Dallas will be home to a new Bezos Academy in Fall 2022. The tuition-free, Montessori-inspired Bezos Academy will be the first in Texas—and second in the nation—to be located in a senior living community. "We believe in the power of generations interacting," says Tim Mallad, CEO of Forefront Living.

  • The Ho Din Award honors those who exemplify the unique combination of medical wisdom and human understanding that distinguishes all great physicians.Leading with a heart of service, Cayenne L. Price, M.D., hopes to create as much of an impact in her community as possible while caring for her patients.

  • North Texas Giving Day lasts more than a day—its 14th annual event will kick off September 1 and run through September 22. To get both nonprofits and North Texans ready for it, the Communities Foundation of Texas is partnering with software company Mightycause for a new fundraising platform this year. “We want to continue to grow the spirit of giving by engaging and activating more donors as each individual gift, no matter the size, helps the collective,” says CFT Senior VP Monica Christopher.