Tag: Austin american-statesman

UWATX President Debbie Bresette Retires After 12 Years

This article was written by James Barragan of the Austin American-Statesman and published on November 1, 2015. After 12 years with the United Way for Greater Austin, eight of them as its president, Debbie Bresette officially stepped down from the organization Thursday. “She’ll be missed,” said Kay Garza, the Vice President of the Navigation Center at the United Way for Greater Austin, who has worked with Bresette for 12 years. “She’s been the heart and soul of this organization and someone who truly cares about working poor families.” During Bresette’s tenure, the group placed an emphasis on helping disadvantaged youths and families. Through its early childhood development programs, the group put 500 area children from disadvantaged backgrounds into pre-K programs and started an initiative at low-income middle schools to prevent kids from dropping out. Much of the emphasis on disadvantaged youths came from Bresette’s own family experience. She has biracial grandchildren. Because of that, she says, they may not be given the same opportunities as other kids. But instead, Bresette tries to focus on the positives that kids like her grandchildren bring to the table, such as different cultures and experiences. “That gives them the ability to have a really open mind,” she said. “If we invest in them, no matter what they look like or where they come from, they have the opportunity of being the Einsteins of the future, of saving us, of saving our planet.” Bresette’s tenure was also marked by the push for new ideas at […]

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Volunteers Make St. John’s Greater

UWATX will focus on the St. John’s neighborhood during this year’s 24-hour session of community-wide giving through Amplify Austin in hopes we can expand our work in this community, as well as our other target neighborhoods including Manor and Dove Springs. Take a look at some of the projects volunteers completed in the St. John’s community within the last year! Webb students who participate in our Volunteer Project Leaders class have been busy improving their own neighborhood. For Valentine’s Day, they created cards and banners to show their appreciation for teachers at their school. VPL students also participated in our annual MLK Day of Service by working with members of the Young Leaders Society to create giant jenga and other games for the Big Game – Super Bowl XLIX watch party. Funds generated from the watch party will go toward the YLS $180K Challenge, raising money for full-time coordinators at Webb, Decker and Mendez Middle Schools. Last December, the neighborhood came together for our Community Tree Lighting held at Webb Middle School. UWATX volunteers gathered more than 1,600 books to give out to kids of all ages who attended the event. Many of the kids walked away with more books than they could carry. Our valued business partners have also been busy making St. John’s greater in the last year. Texas Mutual spent the day at Webb Middle School volunteering as part of the Insurance Challenge. Some volunteers worked to beautify the grounds, while others decorated and put together welcome boxes to inspire students for […]

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