PwC and Houston Rockets Team with YES Prep Students and Teachers


PwC
, in connection with the Houston Rockets, collaborated with YES Prep to create two mentorship programs. The first program, Clutching Accountability, pairs PwC associates with 49 YES Prep mentor and mentee with Clutching accountabilitySoutheast seniors to provide stability and support as the seniors transition to and through their first year of college. The second program, Teaming with Teachers, matches PwC volunteers with 13 8th
grade math teachers throughout the district to enhance the math curriculum and engage students in real-life applications for math problems. PwC wanted to team with YES Prep because their purpose statement to Build Trust in Society and Solve Important Problems aligns perfectly with these programs. “So much of our firm’s culture is about giving back,” said Victoria Beard, PwC’s Greater Houston Market Marketing Leader. “We wanted to leverage our relationships and unite three strong brands– YES Prep, PwC, and the Houston Rockets– to make a difference in kids’ lives.”

 

Rockets and PwC with Clutching AccountabilityClutching Accountability

Over 90% of YES Prep graduates are the first to attend college in their families. As first-generation students, they face a variety of challenges– academic, socio-emotional, cultural, and financial. Clutching Accountability was developed to improve alumni persistence through college by providing an additional layer of support. At the program’s kickoff event, students met their mentors on the Rockets practice court where they did a variety of team building basketball drills led by Rockets Legend Calvin Murphy. For the remainder of the year, PwC established a variety of social and educational touchpoints to build relationships between mentees and mentors and to provide financial literacy sessions for families. Once students are in college, the mentors will remain in touch and be available as resources for the students. For example, mentors might help a mentee create a resume, apply for an internship, or navigate financial aid questions. After completing the program next year, students will be recognized at halftime during a Rockets game and will have the opportunity to watch the game from a suite.  YES Prep Southeast senior, Janet Perales, applied for the mentorship program because her three older siblings, all YES Prep alumni, are currently enrolled in college. “They don’t have a lot of time to help me out,” she said. “This program will give me the guidance I need that my family can’t give. It’s comforting to have someone who can help me as I experience something new.”

Teachers team with PwCTeaming with Teachers

Teaming with Teachers addresses the challenge of 8th grade math by fostering teamwork between PwC volunteers and YES Prep math teachers. At the program’s kickoff event, YES Prep teachers collaborated with PwC employees on lesson preparation, heard from the Rockets’ statisticians, received personalized Rockets jerseys, and met Rockets legend Mario Elie. For the five class units covered, the Rockets will provide videos that offer real-life applications for the math problems students are tackling and PwC will join the teachers in the classroom to continue the discussions. Students, in turn, will work collaborate on a project that aligns with one of the topics covered. At the end, the winning school will have a pizza party with a Rockets player on March 31. Antonio Davis, YES Prep Hoffman math teacher, is excited about the program. “I hope it gives my kids another voice besides mine, while also giving them an opportunity to learn math through real world examples,” he said. “I feel like the collaboration will really energize the students.”

The relationship between PwC, YES Prep and the Houston Rockets has been meaningful, Beard reported. “We’re all in this together,” Beard said. “Whether you’re a PwC volunteer, a YES Prep staff member, Rockets employee or a YES Prep student, you can raise your hand and make an impact.”

 

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