Dear Friends,

We are delighted to share this report with you highlighting and celebrating the HISD Foundation’s impact in 2019.

The HISD Foundation, in partnership with our supporters and friends has remained steadfast in our commitment to the success of students in HISD. As shown in the report below, we continued to invest in programs and opportunities that expand students’ access to a world-class, life-changing education. 

As you read and engage with the report, we invite you to join us in celebrating what we accomplished last year. We also urge you to join us in the next phase of our journey. As you know, the challenges facing HISD are tremendous. 

It is more important than ever for us to come together as a community to ensure our students’ success. Your support for the HISD Foundation in the year ahead will allow us to advance strategic priorities that will have a powerful, transformational impact on students, their families, and the community as a whole for many years to come.

We ask you to push forward alongside us in this most important work – and thank you again for everything you do to support HISD!

Lori Vetters


Lori Vetters

Ann Scott

Executive Director

Ann Scott


Supporting districtwide initiatives aimed at increasing student academic achievement in every classroom.



This year, foundations, corporations, and individuals came together to support more than 200,000 students enrolled in HISD.

Approximately 75 percent of the students attending HISD schools – or about 150,000 children – are economically disadvantaged. Many of these children, and the schools they attend, have significant needs that go beyond what the school district’s budget can provide.

The HISD Foundation is dedicated to mobilizing the local community to improve outcomes for all students in the district. 

Over the last decade, the HISD Foundation has supported the district with over $75 million dollars in philanthropic support that has had a significant impact on school and teacher performance, student academic success, family and community engagement.

The following stories provide a glimpse of what’s possible when the Houston community come together to transform the lives of the students, parents, teachers, and the community we serve by investing in every child.


Lisa Jackson is the senior manager of Student Assistance Department. Lisa’s department is responsible for addressing the needs of students at risk for school failure due to non-academic indicators, including attendance, homeless assistance, and to ensure students in foster care receive the assistance they need.

In 2018, the HISD Foundation received a $420,000 grant from the Greater Houston Community Foundation through its Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to aid the growing number of homeless students in HISD due to Harvey.

Through this transformative grant, Lisa Jackson, Senior Manager of Student Assistance and her team worked tirelessly to provide food, uniforms, bus passes, tuxedos for senior prom to over 650 families.

The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund recognized the potential for HISD to directly help many affected students and families. Offering support in the form of temporary housing, emergency financial assistance, and basic needs was aligned with the fund’s goal to serve Houston’s impacted and vulnerable populations. We are glad that Lisa and her team were able to coordinate these assistance efforts to families and students in need of recovery and thank them for their work.”

- Robert Sepeda, Greater Houston Community Foundation.


Mr. Keavon Runnels is a 15-year veteran band director of the Sonic Boom marching band at Austin High School, located in Houston’s East End. 

Over the summer, an air conditioning issue damaged instruments and equipment, valued at more than $14,000. This meant the 100 students who signed up for marching band would have to miss out on their big events. Thanks to the generosity of Direct Energy, who donated $20,000 to buy and repair damaged instruments, band materials, and warm up uniforms, the Sonic Boom marching band can continue its legacy to bring light into Houston with music.


Thanks to the generosity of Direct Energy, students of the Stephen F. Austin were able to participate with a 1/1 ratio of students to instruments for the first time in years. Students were able to participate in football games, parades, competitions and even perform at the State Capitol because of the generous donation.”

- Keavon Runnels


Out 2 Learn is an initiative funded by Houston Endowment with leadership provided by United Way of Greater Houston, Harris County Department of Education/CASE, Mayor’s Office of Education, Harris County Precinct 1 and Harris County Precinct 2 and the City of Houston’s Parks and Rec department. Out 2 Learn’s goal is to improve quality, access and connections for parents and providers of afterschool programs. HISD Foundation served as the fiscal agent for the grant.

The funded projects received a total of $150,000 from Out 2 Learn to benefit after school programming for youth from Austin High School and M.C. Williams Middle School. 

The Wraparound Specialists at M.C. Williams Middle School and Austin High School, Mr. Carlos Lairo and Ms. Marlen Rodriguez, led the effort of connecting community organizations to offer robust afterschool activities and professional development opportunities for campus staff.

Ms. Rodriguez from Austin High brought in Aurora Picture Show to teach animation, BakerRipley’s DiscoverYou program, Houston Center for Photography, the Maker to Inventor program from TXRX Labs, and Young Audiences Houston to provide several dance presentations.

The greatest impact of the collaborative project this year has been in exposing students to new activities and networks that had not previously been available at Austin and encouraging more involvement in extracurricular activities on campus.”

- Marlen Rodriguez


Derrick Ngo is a recent graduate from the Energy Institute High School heading to Harvard University with a full ride scholarship in the fall of 2019. 

Derrick is one of six children and the first of his siblings to go to college. He attended 12 different schools between kindergarten and 8th grade, his mom was incarcerated, and he was often living alone. 

The HISD Foundation received a $13 million dollars multi-year grant from the Houston Endowment that enabled students like Derrick access high quality college readiness programming. The grant also provides postsecondary access to programming in middle schools, college transition programming and support, and EMERGE expansion.

Because of the investment of Houston Endowment and the partnership with EMERGE, Derrick had access to high quality test prep, resume development training, college tours, and college advisors.

Emerge changed my life, and I hope it will continue to change the lives of students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds.”

- Derrick Ngo


$ 0

The HISD Foundation’s Innovation Fund provides teachers and schools with grants to develop innovative programs that make learning dynamic and engaging while preparing students for graduation and beyond.

Our Innovation Fund Grants made all of these possible


  • Lead to inspire students, teachers, and parents to think differently about school
  • Enhance the student experience and lead to improved academic outcomes
  • Implement district initiatives in innovative ways
  • Find new solution to combat barriers of success for student

Booker T. Washington High School

Student Designed interactive drone competition

Harvard Elementary School

launched outdoor wellness program

Stevens Elementary School

incorporating STEM into fashion design

Mark Twain Elementary School

started an Afterschool Coding Club

Energy Institute High School

expanded audio engineering opportunities for its students

Bellaire High School

fully funded by Alliantgroup Water Works, a community and global water quality project

Sharpstown High School

launched a new Story Telling Project to share and celebrate community diversity

McReynolds Elementary School

Robotics, Literature & Coding Project

Baylor College of Medicine at Ryan

Camp Med: A bridge summer education experience

Austin High School

Mobile 3D printing makerspace that supports engineering

Baylor College of Medicine

Infrastructure to support Health occupations opportunities

Roosevelt Elementary

Implemented Financial Literacy Program

Parker Elementary School

Offered students immersive research experience through technology

Horn Elementary School

STEM Lab for student collaboration

Community Services K-12

launched STEM-In program for students at alternative settings

Cook Elementary School

Assistive tools and training for Dyslexic students

Durham Elementary School

created innovative learning spaces

Sinclair Elementary School

Introduced programming to students & teachers through Raspberry PI

Sharpstown High School & Sugar Grove Acadmemy

Community Garden

Dogan Elementary School

fully funded by BP transforming computer lab to STEM lab

Berry Elementary School

Kindergarten Makerspace

Holland Middle School

Percussion in the digital age

Sugar Grove Academy

expanded audio engineering opportunities for its students

Atucks Middle School

Expanded participation in robotics contest

Financial Reports

FY 19 Sources
of Support












Unrestricted Donations$14,303
Temporarily Restricted Donations$1,930,889
Special Events Revenue$441,723
Interest Earned$219
Total Revenue$2,387,134


General & Administrative$227,669
Program Related Costs$7,459,323
Special Event Expenses$265,390
Total Expenses$7,952,382


Unrestricted Checking$418,421
Restricted Checking$1,614,666
Pledges Receivable$8,276,750
Pledges Discount$211,688
Prepaid Expenses$6,197
Fixed Assets$14,750
Total Assets$10,119,127

Liability & Equity

Accounts Payable$260,319
total liabilities$260,319
Unrestricted Equity$355,677
Temporarily Restricted Equity$550,825
Retained Earnings$14,517,555
Net Income (Loss)(-$5,565,248)
Total equity$9,858,809
  Total Liability and Equity$10,119,127

HISD Foundation Donors

$1,000,000 AND UP

  • Houston Endowment

$100,000 AND UP

  • Greater Houston Community Foundation

$50,000 - $99,999

$25,000 - $49,999

  • Branch Banking & Trust
  • Just Keep Livin Foundation
  • Kinder Foundation
  • Save the Children
  • SEWA International Co.
  • The Powell Foundation
  • Whole Kids Foundation
  • Arts Connect
  • BP
  • Capital One
  • Direct Energy
  • Lamar Business Resource Council
  • Lyondelbasell Chemical Company
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • The Simmons Foundation

$10,000 - $24,999

  • Alliantgroup
  • Aramco Services
  • AUTOARCH Architects
  • OTGO Petroleum Corp
  • Clutch City Foundation
  • Guilford County Schools
  • Harford Inc
  • HEB Grocery Company
  • Jacob's Technology
  • Linebarger Goggin Blair & Sampson, L.L.P.
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • Praxair, Inc
  • Rice & Gardner Consultants Inc
  • Schlumberger Technology Corporation
  • Serendipity Wines LLC
  • Shell Oil Company
  • Southwest Wolesale LLC
  • Susan Sarofirn
  • Thompson & Horton L.L.P.
  • WithMerci Foundation, Inc

$5,000 - $9,999

  • Benadetto Bosco
  • Bracewell
  • Chevron Matching Program
  • Dannette Davis
  • Felix and Angela Morales Memorial
  • Gilbane Building Company
  • Hopewell Valley Central High School
  • Houston Community College
  • iSphere Innovation Partners, LLC
  • Kay Davis Associates
  • Lakeshore Learning Store
  • Lori Vetters
  • McDonald's Operators Association
  • Offshore Technology Conference
  • PayPal Giving Fund
  • PBK Inc
  • Reytec Construction Resources, Inc
  • RSM US Foundation
  • Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc
  • Scholastic Education
  • Sherry & Gerald Merfish Family Foundation
  • TAM International Inc
  • The Thomas Group
  • Trice Education Resources Inc
  • VLK Architects

$1,000 - $4,999

  • AcBSP
  • Access Sciences
  • ACHIEVE 3000
  • AIG
  • Anonymous
  • Bradley Lambeth
  • CenterPoint Energy
  • Charity Golf International
  • Chastain Holdings LLC
  • Christopher Harris
  • Comcast
  • Communities in School Houston
  • Conocophillips
  • D. Samuels & Associates
  • Dally & Associates, Inc
  • Data Projects
  • Delwyn Mitchell
  • Diamonds in the Rough Memorabilia & Sports Auctions LLC
  • Division One Contruction
  • Donald McCorquodale
  • Education and Charities Foundation of Houston
  • Edward R. Allen, III
  • EHRA Engineering
  • Forestar Group
  • Garland Independent School District
  • Harris County Department of Education
  • Hilltop Securities
  • Houghton Miffin Harcourt
  • HTS Consultants
  • Infrastructure Assocates
  • IPAA/PESA Energy Education Center
  • Ivy Educational and Charitable Foundation of Houston, Inc
  • J.P. Morgan Chase
  • Kathleen Martinez
  • Kelsey Seybold
  • Kimberli Robinson
  • Kyle Thomas
  • McGraw-Hill Education
  • Molina Walker Almaguer
  • Mount Airy City Schools
  • Emily Attwell Crosswell
  • N.A.E.I.F. Inc
  • Network For Good
  • Ore Owodunni
  • Pappas Restaurants, Inc
  • Paradigm Consultants, Inc
  • Pearson
  • Prime Contractors Inc
  • Priti Singh - Associated Testing Laboratories
  • Raelyn McNair
  • Raising Cane's
  • Raquel Oliver
  • Resource Action Programs, LLC
  • Richland County School District One
  • Robert Gonzales JR.
  • Ronald Sledge
  • Sandy Zarwulkoff
  • Schott Becker
  • Stanley Spurling & Hamilton, Inc
  • Stantec Consulting Services
  • Sterling McCall & Mike Smith Auto Group
  • Teri Solomon
  • Texas A&M University Health Science Center
  • The Benevity Community Impact Fund
  • The Marvy Finger Family Foundation
  • The W. Oscar Neuhaus Memorial Foundation
  • Tracy Garrett
  • Turner Construction Company
  • University of Houston College of Education
  • VCS Architects LLC
  • Webber Commercial Construction LLC
  • William King

Looking Ahead

2018-2019 Fundraising Priorities

Looking Ahead

As we wrap up our 25th anniversary, the HISD Foundation is proud to continue working to identify resources in the Houston community that will strengthen the outcomes of HISD. In return, our community’s most treasured asset, our youth, will be better prepared to take on the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead for our city. We are grateful to work alongside our many partners who believe in the value and importance of a quality public education for all.

The HISD Foundation is launching a three-year fundraising campaign to raise over $15 million dollars to ensure all students in HISD have access to high quality public education. We are committed to educating the whole child, expanding college and career opportunities for students, and providing resources for innovation in the classroom.


Every student deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged at school

Total 2019-2020 Investment

$ 0

Mental Health and Wellness Initiative


  • HISD Foundation will fund Social Work Manager to oversee UH Graduate Social Work students to provide counseling to neediest HISD campuses
  • Series of deep dive trainings for HISD Wraparound Specialists, administrators, and educators on topics that include: crisis, trauma, abuse, and suicide prevention
  • Yoga and mindfulness training through VYASA Houston, an organization dedicated to education, research, and services through yoga to promote health, happiness and peace in society
  • Partnership with We-Wellbeing for Mental Health Conference
  • Partnership with The Menninger Clinic on specialized training for parents and wraparound specialist. Access to consultation and both inpatient and outpatient services

Enhance Fine Arts Programming at 37 Campuses


  • Support 37 campuses with new fine arts program at the campus level by providing supplies and needed instruments and materials for general music and visual arts


We must do more to help students on the path to the college and career of their choice. 

Total 2019-2020 Investment

$ 0

College and Career Success


  • Support HISD to fund a college and career success advisor at every high school campus. Key data show that advisors working one on one with students increased overall financial aid by 21% and doubled scholarships received.
  • Provide Khan Academy platform to over 200,000 students in HISD with a personalized practice plus actionable data and support for teachers and administrators.

HISD Emerge


  • HISD Foundation working in partnership with the district and EMERGE will secure funding to sustain the EMERGE program in HISD. EMERGE prepares low income students to attend nation’s top colleges by providing a holistic, developmental college readiness curriculum.



  • HISD Foundation will raise funds to offer full ride scholarships, industry and subject specific scholarship and supplemental college funds to cover airfare dorm supplies, and books


We must provide the resources that students and schools need to turn new ideas into reality

Total 2019-2020 Investment

$ 0

Innovation projects developed by schools and educators


  • While HISD is currently able to support select innovation projects across the district through general operating budgets, the HISD Foundation will expand these opportunities to more schools and more students. School groups and individual teachers will be invited to submit proposals for their most ambitious and innovative projects. A panel of community volunteers will select and fund projects based on a defined set of criteria.

Our Mission

The Houston ISD Foundation is dedicated to mobilizing the local community in support of innovative priorities in HISD to improve outcomes for all students in the district.

Our Vision

The Houston community is invested in every child’s success and demonstrates this dedication by advocating for and funding critical initiatives in public education through HISD.

2017-2018 Board of Directors

Lori Vetters

Chairman, HISD Foundation


Robert X Allen

Praxair Inc.


Pamela Baden

Energy Executive


Diana Davila

President, Houston ISD Board of Education


Freda Lee



Gerald Merfish

Merfish Pipe & Supply, Co. 


Dr. Grenita Lathan

Iterim Superintendent of Schools, Houston ISD


Ore Owodunni

Conoco Phillips


James Rodriguez

Padilla & Rodriguez, LLP


Lina Sabouni

AUTOARCH Architects



Jim Rice

Rice & Gardner Consultants Incorporated


Jessica Kemp St. Rose

BP America


Andrea Young

Sam Houston Race Park


Ann Scott

Executive Director, HISD Foundation



Dear Friends,

The Houston Independent School District greatly values its partnership with the HISD Foundation and generous donors who have invested in the lives of our students over the past year. Their partnership and philanthropy has empowered HISD to make a difference in the lives of all of the students we serve.

The Foundation has provided support for the Strategic Vision of the district, helping fund initiatives, from innovative projects in the classroom to college and career readiness programs. Connecting the resources of our community, businesses, and government entities creates a ripple effect throughout our city and builds a network of strong and robust support for public education.

With our donors’ help, we are creating a more prosperous future – not just for today’s students, but for tomorrow’s students and our community’s future. When we pool our resources and work together, we create access to opportunity for an even greater number of our children.

Dr. Grenita Lathan

Interim Superintendent, HISD

Grenita Lathan

Invest In Every Child

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