Ahead of the first day of school, the Moody Foundation welcomed GISD students back with new school supplies. This was a part of the Foundation’s Generation Moody Education Initiative, a signature project benefiting Galveston Island by providing a catalyst for exceptional education opportunities from cradle to career, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. Since its launch in 2018, the Foundation has distributed over $28 million in Generation Moody grants.
The Moody Foundation’s commitment to education dates back to the Moody Scholars program, which fits into the overall Generation Moody Education Initiative. Since its inception in 1969, over $17 million has been awarded to assist more than 5,200 students from Galveston, Dallas, and Austin to attend colleges throughout the state. The goal of the program is to provide financial assistance to qualified high school students in their pursuit of an undergraduate degree in the state of Texas. Through this effort, students have the ability to further their learning and grow beyond the classroom toward academic, and ultimately, career success.
During the 2018-2019 school year, 90 students were awarded scholarships to selected high schools in Galveston, Dallas and Austin. Each recipient received a total of $16,000 to be used for four years ($4,000/year) at a Texas college. This year, qualified high school students will have the opportunity to apply for the 2020 Moody Scholars Program.
The newest addition to the Moody Scholars team to assist Education Director Angela Blair is Erika Tovar, the education and scholarship administrative assistant, who handles all aspects of the scholarship program and supports the Generation Moody Education Initiative. Her background includes working directly with students as a youth leader at her church. She was also president of Psi Chi, one of the largest honor societies in the United States, and a student aide in college.
Her past experience has taught her how to relate to a diverse range of students. She’s most excited to have the opportunity to bring hope to students about their future. She’s already received several emails from scholarship recipients that said, “I had lost all hope, but then I received your email.” In her free time, she likes to hang out with her two cats, Walt and Poppy.
One of Generation Moody’s most recent grants was a $3 million gift to Galveston College’s $6 million endowment for non-tuition educational expenses, removing barriers to laptop purchases, transportation, books and more. If a Moody Scholars recipient chooses to attend Galveston College, they are able to coordinate their existing scholarship funds with other available Galveston College funds, such as the Universal Access Scholarship, which pays for two full years at the college. After two years, they can either choose to defer to another college and use their Moody Scholarship or stay and complete their undergraduate degree.
This summer, Generation Moody Grantee Sea Star Base Galveston used its funds to assist with its summer programs, which aimed to mentor and promote positive development for a targeted segment of at-risk youth through a variety of teamwork and leadership activities like sailing and kayaking. The youth who participated in the program also learned STEM-related concepts like buoyancy, drag and velocity and practiced skills like fairness, communication and problem solving.
To learn more about what the Moody Foundation is doing to address root causes of need in Texas communities, primarily in education, read our trustee Ross Moody’s latest blog about education philanthropy in Texas along with his early childhood education op-ed.