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Education. Empowerment. Growth.

The Third Ward Initiative is first and foremost a collaborative partnership with the Third Ward community. University of Houston faculty, administrators, staff and students from almost every academic college and administrative division will combine their intellectual talents and physical energies to forge a sustainable partnership that demonstrably improves the quality of life in our shared neighborhood by improving educational outcomes, securing jobs, developing and strengthening businesses, and celebrating the arts, culture and history of the area. 

Our Goal

As a good neighbor and university dedicated to civic engagement, we will partner and collaborate with the Third Ward to transform its schools, businesses, and healthcare resources. We celebrate the culture and history of our shared community.

  • Education

    Transform academic achievement ratios of six schools.

    The six schools include four elementary schools: Blackshear, Foster,

    Thompson & Hartsfield, Cullen Middle School, and Yates Senior High School.Education

    • Launch a nationally recognized model school program to change cultural and academic outcomes
    • Meet kindergarten school readiness standards
    • Improve STAAR test scores
    • Install book kiosks and implement 1:1 reading programs
    • Improve graduation and college attendance rates
  • Economic Empowerment

    Help 25 businesses over 5 years.

    • Educate potential entrepreneurs selected by community partnersEconomic Empowerment
    • Pilot a program to train and find employment for single mothers
    • Build an education and economic development community outreach center
    • Incubate new business/entrepreneurial development
    • Integrate students with community organizations to launch social impact ventures
  • Health

    Increase clinical health care services and programs to improve outcomes.

    • Address medical disparities of the under-served Health
    • Leverage resources to reduce the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, risk of HIV, STIs, substance abuse and mental health incidence
    • Open a comprehensive health care clinic for the community
  • Arts

    Increase a shared association through art and culture.

    • Share and exchange visual and performing arts with the communityArts
    • Sponsor artists who celebrate the neighborhood culture
    • Establish 10 fellows who will learn about socially engaged art from the College of Arts' McArthur award winner Rick Lowe
    • Partner with schools to expose children to music, theater, and the arts

Of 12,917 people in the Third Ward:

  • 16.7%are kindergarten - 18 yrs
  • 45.8%are 18-34 yrs
  • 29.4%are 35 - 64 yrs
  • 8.1%are 65 or older
  • 42.6%fall below the poverty line

Changing Our Community Means Getting Involved