Podcast EP 14: Giving Homeless Teens a Safe Place to Thrive- The Cove Heart of Texas

Randy sits down with the Executive Director of The Cove Heart of Texas, Kelly Atkinson. They talk about the youth homelessness epidemic across the country, and how The Cove is fighting it by providing a safe place for teens to thrive.

About the nonprofit:

After working as Homeless Liaison for Waco Independent School District for five years, Cheryl Pooler saw a huge problem. As she met with student after student who had been abused, abandoned, or kicked out of his or her home, she knew that they needed a safe place to go after the school bell rang each afternoon. She knew that these students deserved a chance to succeed and that the Waco community would not stand to see them fall through the cracks into chronic homelessness. 

Cheryl started researching best practices around the country and found that an after-school teen nurturing center was what Waco needed to ensure that these vulnerable students were empowered and equipped to graduate high school and achieve their goals. Cheryl reached out, and the community responded. In the summer of 2015, Cheryl Pooler and community volunteer Rosemary Townsend founded the Cove and formed the Board of Directors. The Cove is molded after the NEST in Georgetown, TX.  

In October 2016, The Cove began serving its first cohort of students. In the 2016-17 school year, The Cove served 61 individual students. This last year, we served 76, a nearly 25% increase. In their first year, The Cove saw 440 visits over 118 days of operation. In the 2017-18 school year, the nonprofit saw 1,359 visits over 138 days of operation.

Learn more about The Cove at: thecovewaco.org

About the Charity Champions Podcast

The Charity Champions Podcast is co-hosted by Dale Smith, Director of Community Outreach for TFNB Your Bank For Life, and Randy Lane, CTO and VP of Marketing for 360 Solutions. Together they invite Charity Champions and the people they help into the Triangle Tower podcast studio to hear the stories behind the champions.

About Charity Champions

Charity Champions are nonprofit organizations chosen by TFNB Your Bank For Life employees after being nominated by the community. Winners receive an awareness marketing campaign and leadership training at no charge to the nonprofit.

The awareness campaign begins with a radio interview by the voice of the Baylor Bears, John Morris, and an on-field presentation at McLane Stadium in front of thousands of Central Texans during a Baylor Football game. It continues with recognition at Baylor Basketball games and a feature on the Charity Champions Podcast.

After football season ends, 360 Solutions brings Charity Champions winners together for world-class leadership development training during the first and second quarters of every year. 

For more information on Charity Champions, visit charitychampions.org. To nominate a charity for our upcoming season, visit charitychampions.org/nominate. Nominations are closed for our 2018 season, but keep nominating. All new nominations will be considered for 2019.