Dickinson program helping students 'bloom' in high school and beyond

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Thursday, September 1, 2022
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At Hire Up Texas, Dickinson ISD students and graduates are accessing resources and a community of support that is helping them land jobs and build a successful future.

DICKINSON, Texas (KTRK) -- For many students, the transition from high school to college is a daunting next step filled with uncertainty, but organizations like Higher Up Texas are helping many to pave a successful path forward.

Situated at Dickinson High School, Higher Up Texas is a two-phase program designed for students in high school and post-high school settings.

The program puts students in front of industry professionals to give them real world insight, skill learning, and networking opportunities that help them fulfil their dreams. But that's not all Higher Up Texas is known for.

In their Phase 2 program, high school graduates continue on in their career and life development by putting their skills to practice through job interviews, financial planning, and community engagement.

Above all, the mission of Higher Up Texas is to advance youth to a successful future with like-minded peers.

Executive director Hillary Gramm and her team of youth leaders want to instill the idea that people should "bloom where you grow."

"We're able to infuse the young people in our program with skills, and knowledge, and values that's going to impact them, but we also want them to take it and spread it around them, so they are...making positive changes in their own communities through each of their actions," Gramm said.

Matthew Catching and Zahria Murray, two leaders within the Phase 2 program, stressed the importance of how their organization provides support in mental health resources and personal finance management.

Jordan Schwertz, another Phase 2 leader, said the resources found in the program are strengthened by the familial environment they have created to bring one another up.

Gramm said the skills that Higher Up Texas teaches is like riding a bike: they stick with you your entire life. Members have landed jobs and careers as a direct result of their initiative within the program.

Whatever burden our youth faces today, Gramm said the program wants them to know they don't have to face it alone

"We provide scholarship opportunities, we have one-on-one visits with our students just so they can accomplish whatever their dreams are and not be held back by their circumstances," Gramm said. "In return, our students are very aware that many are helping them, so they put forth so much effort to better the community through volunteer hours, through helping one another, and even helping this organization grow."

For more information on Higher Up Texas or to get involved, visit their website.