Following the tornado that struck Jacksboro, Texas, on March 21, 2022, pleas for school supplies for Jacksboro Independent School District were answered by two former Jacksboro residents.
"I began seeing posts on Facebook for prayer requests and various school supplies," said Cris Buxton, former Jacksboro High School teacher and now director of the University of North Texas, High School Career Connect.
After learning that elementary students were attending school in local churches, Cris contacted Jacksboro ISD to see how she could help. She was told that one of the students' needs was for earbuds, so Cris and her HSCC team packed up 200 earbuds as well as goody bags for teachers. On Tuesday, March 29, Cris's husband Larry Buxton, a Texas State Trooper, delivered them to Jacksboro.
Receiving the supplies were Christy Thomas, Jacksboro ISD Administration Business Manager, and Brad Burnett, Jacksboro ISD Superintendent.
Larry and Cris were residents of Jacksboro for 10 years. Larry was assigned there as his first duty station after graduating from the DPS Academy in 1995, and Cris taught English and PALs at Jacksboro High School. They moved to Denton in 2005 but remained close with the many friends they made in Jacksboro.
This summer, two Texas educational foundations awarded UNT's High School Career Connect grants totaling more than $750,000.
Greater Texas Foundation
Greater Texas Foundation has announced a $664,541 grant for UNT's High School Career Connect, allowing HSCC to continue providing postsecondary and career support to Denton County students. It's the second grant from GTF, whose grant in 2017 funded HSCC's initial three-year program.
Through partnerships with Denton County schools, HSCC provides career assessments, guidance, and resources to students, counselors, administrators, and parents via mentoring from UNT student peer mentors and HSCC's full-time staff.
In its next phase, UNT High School Career Connect will continue to support middle and high school students, transfer students, and parents through traditional one-on-one mentoring, college and career fairs, and parent-education sessions.
Texas Pioneer Foundation
Texas Pioneer Foundation awarded HSCC a grant of $100,000 to help low-income and underrepresented students with academic and career decisions.
"We are excited to provide the support to help expand the UNT High School Career Connect program virtually, which will make it available to more students in Texas,” said Fred Markham, executive director of the Texas Pioneer Foundation. “This program greatly enhances the resources available to high school counselors across the state."
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