First Lady Blog
On Monday I had the pleasure of joining Second Lady of the United States, Karen Pence, in Killeen for the Texas Creative Forces Arts and Military Conference, hosted by the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Following the conference, we visited Fort Hood to learn more about their Art Therapy program.
Today marks the last day of January, which Greg declared as Mentoring Month in Texas. Many of you may have had a mentor growing up – a trusted adult who provided a caring, consistent presence and helped you discover personal strength and achieve your potential. The positive effects that a mentor can have on a young person’s life cannot be overstated, and particularly when it comes to the youth in our state’s child welfare system. Many of these young Texans don’t have a family member to turn to, a void that can be filled by a mentor who can offer advice, encourage positive choices, promote self-esteem, and support academic achievement.
Earlier this week I traveled to Beaumont to attend the Southeast Texas Nonprofit Summit. Hosted by OneStar Foundation and the Southeast Texas Nonprofit Development Center, the Summit brought together industry leaders, business executives, government officials, nonprofit organizations, volunteers and other interested Southeast Texans for a full day of networking, professional and personal growth, and seminars all in an effort to find ways to work together to solve problems and strengthen communities.
Please take a moment to read today's guest post from Andrea Sparks, the Director of the Child Sex Trafficking Team in the Governor’s Office. Andrea and her team are doing tremendous work to prevent victimization of children into child sex trafficking, partner with stakeholders to identify and recover survivors, provide coordinated services to help them heal and thrive, and bring them justice. This is information that every Texan needs to know.
The Fort Bend Education Foundation was the 2017 winner of the Governor’s Volunteer Award for Partners in Education, and the Foundation is also the subject of this week’s Texanthropy Spotlight! The Partners in Education Award recognizes an individual or group that demonstrates measurable impact on a recognized need within a public, charter or parochial school by implementing ideas and solutions to further educational goals for students.
This week we’ll continue to highlight the winners of the 2017 Governor’s Volunteer Awards by spotlighting David Godwin, the Governor’s Lone Star Achievement Award winner. This award recognizes the exemplary service of an individual who has volunteered for a minimum of 15 years. Houstonian David Godwin is a retired volunteer and humanitarian, but David’s service doesn’t appear to match that of someone who considers themselves retired.
This past weekend Texas lost one of our state’s most treasured individuals: former Texas First Lady Rita Clements. Rita’s passion for Texas was evident by the numerous efforts she undertook in an effort to make our state a better place, including promoting volunteerism and civic involvement, boosting public education, and overseeing a restoration of the historic Texas Governor’s Mansion.
It has been cooooold in Texas lately, and it looks like it is going to stay that way for a little while longer. Winter weather in Texas is no joke and can bring dangerous conditions like freezing temperatures, ice, sleet, and snow. The Texas Department of Public Safety has put together tips about how to stay safe during the cold winter months that I wanted to share.