By: Chelsea Davis-Bibb
HOUSTON – Born and raised in the Acres Homes community, Ms. Willie Elaine Hubbard Brooks wanted a way to give back to where she grew up. Inspired by her mother’s community activism and outstanding leadership in the Acres Homes community, Brooks founded the BenCheri’ Educational Center. It was her mother who encouraged her to become an entrepreneur, as she instilled in her the importance of helping the community and those in it.
After spending time subbing, tutoring and mentoring students in the local school districts, Brooks felt the desire pronging her even stronger to give back to the community. The best way she knew how was through education.
Consequently, Bencheri Educational Center was formed. The unique part about the center is that its’ named derived from her children’s names’, Benjamin and Sheree Brooks.
Bencheri Educational Center’s mission is, “to narrow the gap of illiteracy in the community and surrounding areas.” The center tutors students from Pre-K all the way thru college.
Bencheri provides academic coursework in math, reading, STEM classes, debate, public speaking and writing classes. They also teach art, health education, playwriting classes and manufacturing classes that will lead to a career pathway for students to attend a community college or university.
The center also provides classes that are focused on robotics, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. The beautiful part about this center is that their curriculum is designed for each student based on their individual needs.
The BenCheri’ Center strives to help as many kids as possible. They are not only teaching them educational skills, but skills that will help them when they enter the real world. Brooks says, “We are trying to make sure these kids not just get a job, but a career.”
Furthermore, she stated, “Our students will get the best skills, training, mentorship and will be accountable for mak-ing their community sustainable.”
If you are interested in learning more about the BenCheri’ Educational Center, you can visit their website at http://bencheri-educationalcenter.org/ or call (713) 598-1646 for more information.
This article originally appeared in the African American News & Issues.