Big Brothers Big Sisters President & CEO Denise Barkhurst, her Little Brother Chris and leaders from other Texas BBBS agencies join Governor Rick Perry as he is inducted into the ‘Mentoring Hall of Fame’
Gov. Rick Perry today highlighted the positive impact the Amachi Texas mentoring program has had on Texas youth at the 2011 Big Brother Big Sisters of the Year Awards ceremony, where he was also inducted into the T. Boone Pickens Mentoring Hall of Fame.
The T. Boone Pickens Mentoring Hall of Fame is an interactive museum that explores the power of mentoring and the many lives transformed by mentoring in America. The Hall of Fame promotes the power of mentoring by highlighting individuals who have gone above the call in the promotion of mentoring.
“This is an overwhelming and humbling honor, especially in the company of so many who have done so much for the children of our state,” Gov. Perry said. “When someone makes the decision to mentor a child in need, they’ve made a decision to save a life. Anyone who has ever taken the time to help steer an at-risk child in the right direction is truly doing God’s work, and Texas is blessed by their efforts.”
“It's great to see Governor Perry honored as the latest member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters T. Boone Pickens Mentoring Hall of Fame,” said T. Boone Pickens. “The Governor and I fully understand the responsibilities that those in business and government have in making Texas a better place for coming generations. His involvement and leadership with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization is just one example of what he’s doing to fulfill that commitment. I applaud his recognition and his efforts in ensuring all Texans have the ability to be mentored, and achieving their true potential.”
The Amachi Texas Program is a joint initiative between the Governor’s Office, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Texas, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Education Agency and OneStar Foundation. The program provides mentors to children whose parents are incarcerated in an effort to break the intergenerational cycle of crime and incarceration, and offer these at-risk children the chance to reach their highest potential.
Since its implementation in 2006, 7,500 kids have been mentored through the Amachi Texas program. Ninety-six percent of these children have been timely promoted to the next grade level; and while 70 percent of children whose parents are incarcerated end up following their parents into prison, fewer than two percent of Amachi children have been referred to the criminal justice system. Studies show that within a year of being matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister, at-risk youth are 46 percent less likely to begin abusing drugs and 33 percent less likely to be involved in violent activity.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Texas annually honors the top Big Brothers and Big Sisters from across the state. This year’s recipients are Tommy Fad of Austin and Angela Dixon of Houston. Both will go on to compete for the national Big Brother and Big Sister of the Year award. Nominated by the children they serve, these individuals exemplify the best in mentoring, and the effect mentors can have on the lives of children in our community.
To learn more about the T. Boone Pickens Mentoring Hall of Fame, please visit
To learn more about the Amachi Texas program, please visit http://www.amachi-texas.org/index.php.