Photo courtesy: City of El Paso
The Hunt Family Foundation (HFF) announced Tuesday it will grant $12 million dollars to the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED), a not-for-profit education policy and advocacy group focused on creating measurable outcomes and dedicated to closing the achievement gap for El Paso County students.
“This is an investment in our region’s students, teachers, and future workforce. If we want to get serious about El Paso’s economic future, then we must invest in our students now so they are able to successfully pursue a postsecondary credential and have a prosperous career. Expanding high quality opportunities in our region’s K-12 system is a necessary step to get us on the right path,” said Woody L. Hunt, founder and chairman of the Hunt Family Foundation.
Earlier this year, CREEED released the 60×30 El Paso report, which highlighted the education challenges and opportunities that currently exist in the El Paso region in meeting the statewide goal of having 60% of Texans ages 25-34 obtain a credential or degree by 2030.
The report found that El Paso’s high school graduation and postsecondary attainment rates are below the state average, and that too many students are graduating from high school without the skills necessary to thrive in postsecondary work without remediation.
While the report acknowledged the progress that has been made in recent years to close education gaps, it also notes that the pace of change has been too slow and too small.
Since its founding, CREEED has invested in local school district initiatives that improve student achievement and expose students to the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century workforce. The $12 million grant will support CREEED in advancing the recommendations in the 60×30 report, especifically around the creation of a portfolio of high-performing schools as well as strengthening the teacher talent pipeline in the region.
“I want to thank the Hunt Family Foundation for their generous support and tireless commitment to improving our region’s education system over the years. Woody, Josh, and the Hunt Family Foundation have set the example for civic involvement and philanthropy for our community. We look forward to working with our workforce and education partners to ensure this investment produces measurable outcomes for our students and families,” said Richard A. Castro, chairman of CREEED.
Over the past 30 years, the Hunt Family Foundation has awarded over $87.7 million in grants and charitable contributions to programs and initiatives in the Borderplex region focused on healthcare, education, arts and culture, and economic development. The $12 million grant builds on the $55 million that the Hunt Family Foundation has already invested in higher education initiatives across the region.
“This grant is an expression of our commitment to the future of this community and our belief that this region’s best days are in front of us. Every student deserves the best chance possible to succeed and contribute to our region’s future; and that is why we are investing in their education,” said Josh Hunt, president of the Hunt Family Foundation.
“Mr. Hunt’s vision for strengthening our region’s education ecosystem from kindergarten to college, has provided us with the roadmap and resources we need to accelerate the transformation of El Paso into a leader in educational excellence and success. The continued investments of the Hunt Family Foundation in innovative initiatives, and the data to measure progress, makes our work that much more meaningful and impactful,” said Dr. William Serrata, President of the El Paso Community College