• 79°

BOBBY LOPEZ — Bob Hope School investing in graduates, community with summer interns

Transforming a community takes a great deal of effort, but it means so much to the success of our area.

This is why we must invest in the future of our young people. Thinking back to my undergraduate days at the University of Houston, tuition and fees were structured very differently than they are today.

Financial aid in the form of grants, loans and work study usually covered all my expenses. Room and board were covered in exchange for serving as an attendant to a physically challenged UH student.

Textbooks could be bought and sold back or purchased as used. Today, the cost of tuition, fees and books is extremely expensive.

Bob Hope School understands the financial hardship many students face during college. To support our former graduates who are now in college, we offer them the opportunity to come back and work on campus during the summer.

As we did last year, Bob Hope School continues to invest in our former graduates who now attend college.

Currently, we have the following colleges and universities represented: Stanford University, Emory University, the University of Texas, Baylor University, the University of Houston, Stephen F. Austin University, Texas State University, Sam Houston State University, Texas A & M Texarkana, Lamar University, LIT and San Jacinto College.

During the summer internship, the students are placed with either a school employee or in a particular department that best fits their career choice. Students are paid $15 an hour with the expectation that their earnings be used to pay for college costs such as tuition, books, dorms and meal plans for the upcoming semester.

What are these former BHS graduates saying?

The comments are overwhelmingly positive.

There are countless expressions of thanks for believing in them, offering them many opportunities and for college exposure via our dual credit program.

Many students relay that the rigor involved in the dual credit courses significantly prepared them in making the transition from high school to college. We thank LSCPA for their partnership and support in this effort.

As we work on transforming a community, we hear students wanting to return and give back to their neighborhood. The prospect of their contributions is exciting.

BHS graduates are majoring in a variety of fields and are looking forward to working in the medical field, finance, education, engineering, computer science, psychology and criminal justice.

So why are we investing in our former students?

BHS believes that investing in the front end will result in superior outcomes than having to later invest, and unwillingly invest, in the back end of their lives.

When I served as board member on the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, most of the students entering the juvenile justice system were from low socio-economic neighborhoods.

It goes without saying that taking a proactive approach is much better than a reactive approach.

We live in the great state of Texas and we must all work to keep it strong.

Let’s invest in the future of our students and give them an opportunity to transform our community.

Dr. Bobby Lopez, CEO, has served as superintendent of the Bob Hope School since 2010. Contact him at bobby.lopez@bobhopeschool.org or 409-983-3244.