Houston Health Department Partners with Houston Marathon Foundation to Introduce Youth to Off-the-Field Careers in Sports

HOUSTON, TX – My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Houston, a program of the Houston Health Department, and the Houston Health Foundation bring Team Up – an initiative that introduces youth to off-the-field career opportunities in sports – to the Houston Marathon Committee.

“When young people talk about their interest in sports, they often think the only way to have a career in their favorite game is to become an athlete,” said Robin Mansur, president and CEO of the Houston Health Foundation. “Team Up leverages that sports interest to encourage students to stay actively engaged in their education by introducing them to great off-the-field careers in sports.”

The Texas Children’s Hospital Woodlands Family Fun Run on Saturday, May 5 will give young men the opportunity to join their Houston Marathon Committee staff mentors to gain hands-on experience. Based on their interests, students will team up with the emergency preparedness team, the Texas Children’s Hospital medical team and other staff to offer operational and motivational support.

“The Houston Marathon Committee is excited to be one of the first partners in the Team Up initiative,” said Ally Walker, senior manager of Houston Marathon Foundation Community Development. “Our participation in this initiative builds upon our commitment to the Houston-area community and we look forward to providing these youth with meaningful experiences that have the potential to impact their current and future life decisions.”

The Houston Marathon Foundation and Sugar Land Skeeters, another Team Up partner, previously participated in three “Discovery Days” with youth from the Fifth Ward Enrichment Program. During these events, high school age young men gained a deeper understanding of the staff responsibilities required to produce Houston Marathon Foundation events and Sugar Land Skeeters games.

Team Up is facilitated by My Brother’s Keeper (MBK), an initiative of the Houston Health Department that works to increase opportunities and close disparity gaps among youth of color.

“MBK Houston has been providing vital services to youth in some of Houston’s highest need communities for the last two years,” said Noel Pinnock (Bureau Chief, HHD Bureau of Youth and Adolescent Health). “Team Up is certain to assist us in incentivizing these youth through mentorship and knowledge-building to stay focused, work hard and consider pursuing a career in sports business.”

Bloomberg Associates, a philanthropic municipal consultancy, is advising Team Up and partner organizations to conceptualize the initiative and provide ongoing strategic support.

“Bloomberg Associates is excited to foster this partnership to draw connections between the sports world and youth in underserved communities. Too often, youth are motivated by professional athletes and never get the opportunity to see the world beyond the players,” said Mike Hopper of Bloomberg
Associates. “We have enjoyed working with our partners on the ground in Houston to bring this opportunity to young people who otherwise may not have received this exposure.”