Education News

Nonprofit Gives Students Supplies And A Future

A local nonprofit group is accepting donations of schools supplies it plans to give to some of Houston's most disadvantaged students. But the group has a much larger goal in mind — they'd also like to give the students a brighter future.

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“12.98, baby”

It’s lunchtime at the Breakfast Klub. Located in Midtown, it’s one of Houston’s most popular restaurants. Drive by anytime and you’re likely to see a line going out the door. But on this day, there’s even more going on: a booth set up outside for donations of school supplies.

“I’m sure that the Breakfast Klub would be more than happy to accept your donation. Do you come down to the Breakfast Klub ever?”

Kelly Bukolt is with Making it Better. A nonprofit group that wants to do what its name says, make life better for many youth in Houston.

She was talking on the phone with a customer who wanted to make a donation.  Customers at the restaurant are given a discount if they make drop off school supplies or give money, but Bukolt says the group is about more than giving students supplies.

“We show them that there is more to life than the four walls around their apartment building and to their school. We expose them to experience they wouldn’t experience and probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to do. We take them on field trips. We take them to museums. We just really try and broaden their horizons.”

Broadening horizons is a key theme of Making it Better. Jerry Davis and his brother started the organization five years ago. He wants children in poor neighborhoods to see that there’s more to life than gangs and drugs.

“There’s other alternatives than what you see on TV and what you see on the street corner.”

Davis tells the story of a man he met that he now brings in to speak to the kids.

“He studies rocks for a living and right now, he’s one of the richest men in the state of Texas. No one told me back in the day if I understood the layer of rocks and what’s underneath, that I could become a billionaire.”

They haven’t produced any billionaires yet, but Bukolt believes they are making a difference.

“There are countless number of children who literally, parents are in jail, brothers are in gangs and who are headed down that direction and thanks to our efforts we believe we’ve really made a difference and they’re the ones who will tell you that we made a difference in their lives.”

Make it better is working with students from HISD and the North Forest School District — a district doing so poorly academically and financially that the state of Texas is planning to close it.