Skip to content

Texas Opportunity Youth Summit

October 15–16, 2019 Houston

Hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and Educate Texas

In Texas, more than 13 percent of young people age 16 to 24 are disconnected from both school and work—that’s nearly half a million “opportunity youth” whose economic future is in jeopardy. Changes in the labor force make efforts to engage this group more important than ever. Community leaders across the state are working to address many of the issues that cause disconnection, but no one can solve this complex problem alone. By coming together, we can share ideas, build relationships and collaborate to maximize our endeavors.

This summit convened community organizations, educational institutions, workforce development agencies, funders, statewide agencies and municipalities working to address issues associated with opportunity youth. Attendees shared insights and learned promising practices from one another. Special thanks to the Asset Funders Network, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the National League of Cities for their collaboration in this program.

Agenda

Tuesday, Oct. 15
2:00 p.m.

Site Visit: BridgeYear and Bridge to College and Career Success Partnerships (optional)
Houston Community College Central Campus

5:30 p.m.

Opening Reception
Le Méridien Hotel

7:00 p.m. Dinner on Your Own
Wednesday, Oct. 16
All sessions will be held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston Branch.
8:00 a.m. Check-in for Optional Pre-Summit Sessions
8:30 a.m.

Pre-Summit Concurrent Sessions (optional)

CRA Roundtable for Bankers
This breakfast will allow banks to hear from other banks and practitioners on how they can invest in opportunity youth to meet their obligations under the Community Reinvestment Act.

  • Opening Remarks
    • Roy C. Lopez, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  • Regulator Discussion
    • Al Coleman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
    • Kevin Dancy, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston Branch
    • Scarlett Duplechain, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
  • Bank-Community Partnerships
    • Dora Cantu, Chase | Presentation
    • Brandon T. Denton, City of Houston, Mayor’s Office of Education
    • Ann B. Stiles, Project Grad Presentation
  • Closing Remarks
    • Carolyn Watson, JPMorgan Chase

Policymaking Meeting: Advancing Public Funding and Practice
This breakfast will address public funding stream integration and expanding local policy partners. Open to all attendees until registration is full.

  • Moderated by Hannah Gourgey, Educate Texas
  • Public Funding Stream Integration
    • Tamara Atkinson, Workforce Solutions Capital Area | Presentation
    • Parc Smith, American YouthWorks
  • Expanding Local Policy Partners and Working with Municipalities
    • Rebecca Flores, City of San Antonio
    • Andrew O. Moore, National League of Cities
9:30 a.m.

Summit Check-in, Networking and Coffee

10:00 a.m. Opening Remarks and Sharing of Data on Texas Opportunity Youth
 
  • Alfreda B. Norman, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas | Presentation
10:30 a.m. Group Activity: Overview of Current Opportunity Youth Work Across Texas

Attendees will divide up by community or region and be provided with questions on their programmatic context, populations served, services provided, promising practices, challenges and successes.

  • Natalie F. Applegate, Educate Texas
12:00 p.m. Lunch
12:25 p.m. Lunch Presentations

Introductions

  • John Fitzpatrick, Educate Texas
  • Molly Hubbert Doyle, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Perspectives from Opportunity Youth Employers and Community Partners

  • Moderated by Lili Allen, JFF
  • Imicuk Loyuk, SERJobs
  • Dwight Powery, Year Up
  • Rudy Requeno, MCA Communications
  • Steven Sebastian, Gap Inc.
1:40 p.m. Break
1:50 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

Facilitated Discussion for Community Practitioners
Community practitioners will have the chance to share more with each other and take a deeper dive into promising practices, challenges, lessons learned and next steps in working with opportunity youth.

  • Hannah Gourgey, Educate Texas

Facilitated Discussion for Funders and Statewide Leaders
Funders and statewide leaders will gather to discuss their experiences in supporting opportunity youth across Texas.

  • Annika Little, Asset Funders Network
3:00 p.m.

Closing Remarks

  • Monique Miles, Aspen Institute Opportunity Youth Forum
  • Alfreda B. Norman
  • John Fitzpatrick
3:30 p.m. Adjourn

Speakers

Lili Allen
JFF
Allen is associate vice president of reconnection designs at JFF (formerly Jobs for the Future). She oversees and drives the strategy for the organization’s work with states, regions and communities that are building pathways to postsecondary credentials and career-track employment for low-income young adults who have enormous potential but are locked out of the labor market.

She leads JFF’s Opportunity Works Social Innovation Fund initiative, the Young Adult Talent Development Network, JFF’s partnership with the Aspen Institute Opportunity Youth Forum, JFF’s partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation for the Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP) initiative, and Back on Track in Texas with the Greater Texas Foundation. She also oversees the provision of technical assistance to Citi Foundation Youth Workforce Fund grantees.

Allen came to JFF with more than 20 years of experience building school and community partnerships to improve outcomes for struggling students and out-of-school youth. She speaks at national venues on strategies to improve outcomes for young adults who are locked out of the labor market.

Natalie F. Applegate
Educate Texas
Applegate is deputy director of programs at Educate Texas. In this role, she supports and leads the design, implementation and evaluation of higher education programs to increase postsecondary access and success for students throughout Texas. Most recently, she has led Bridge to College and Career Success, an initiative of cross-sector partnerships that engage opportunity youth into college and career pathways in Houston.

Previously, Applegate managed a team of AmeriCorps members at an elementary school as a program manager at City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley. She has served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nicaragua, where she trained teachers in English as a second language and led various education and youth development projects. She started her career working in public relations and communications in Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

Applegate graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, specializing in public relations and Spanish. She is currently pursuing her master of public affairs from Indiana University’s Paul O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Tamara Atkinson
Workforce Solutions Capital Area
Atkinson serves as the CEO of Workforce Solutions Capital Area Workforce Board, the workforce development board for Austin, Texas. Workforce Solutions is business-led and community-focused. She is responsible for strategic alignment and performance of all operations within the organization, as well as external relations with community leaders, elected officials, and national education and workforce entities. She manages a board of directors consisting of 27 public/private sector representatives from across Travis County.

She has served Workforce Solutions in progressively more responsible positions for 19 years. Most recently, she expanded the board’s impact through the creation of the Master Community Workforce Plan, which includes career pathway development for economically disadvantaged residents and opportunity youth.

Atkinson holds her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas. After earning an MA in linguistics from the University of North Texas, she led an English language school in North Africa for five years.

Dora Cantu
Chase
Cantu is community reinvestment and community partnership officer for Chase, covering Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. She has been in banking for over 38 years. She retired from Bank of America after 30 years as vice president.

Cantu serves underserved communities by sharing her expertise by facilitating financial literacy workshops at community-based nonprofit organizations. She is on numerous boards of organizations that strive to serve the low- and moderate-income population.

Al Coleman
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)
Coleman is a community affairs specialist in the Community Affairs Branch of the FDIC’s Dallas region and shares oversight for the state of Texas. In this role, he promotes initiatives focused on economic inclusion, community development, affordable housing, small business and the Community Reinvestment Act. He has more than 34 years of progressive experience working throughout the FDIC in various roles.

He has served as an adjunct faculty member and lecturer at Prairie View A&M University, Lone Star College of Houston, University of Houston, Texas Southern University, University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and University of Phoenix. He has also taught numerous financial literacy classes and conducted train-the-trainer sessions throughout the region. He is the recipient of several FDIC and industry awards.

Coleman has a BS in business administration from Paul Quinn College and an MBA in management from Amberton University. He also holds a certification from Langevin Training Services as a certified training director/facilitator.

Kevin Dancy
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston Branch
Dancy is a community development advisor at the Dallas Fed, implementing the community development function across Texas and northern Louisiana. He conducts research on issues including consumer finance and protection, community reinvestment, disaster recovery, economic development, affordable housing and small business. Since joining the Fed, he has become a thought leader on many of the issues impacting low- and moderate-income communities. Dancy previously served as a senior staffer on Capitol Hill and as counsel to numerous nonprofit organizations.

He holds a JD from Texas Southern University and a master of public administration from the University of Houston.

Brandon T. Denton
City of Houston, Mayor’s Office of Education
Denton is the associate director of education for Mayor Sylvester Turner at the City of Houston. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the Office of Education and the implementation of programs such as Hire Houston Youth—the city’s employment opportunities program for youth ages 16 to 24. He also manages the mayor’s Youth Workforce Advisory Council, responsible for training and developing youth, providing access to internships and apprenticeships, and exposing them to careers in various Houston industries.

His previous roles include senior community liaison with the Houston public library system, community center manager at Houston Parks and Recreation, and community relations manager for the Houston Astros.

Denton holds a BS in sport management from Rogers State University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Scarlett Duplechain
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Duplechain is a district community affairs officer of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). She joined the OCC in New Orleans in 2006 as part of the community affairs team, serving as a liaison to governmental organizations, community groups and national bank customers on community reconstruction financing issues and hurricane-related banking matters. She also identifies community development lending and investment opportunities available to national banks and thrifts seeking to aid in reconstruction efforts.

Currently, she is responsible for providing technical assistance and training to national banks, thrifts and examiners on community and economic development; convening key stakeholders to identify community development needs; and facilitating partnerships among financial institutions, community-based organizations and others. Prior to joining the OCC, Duplechain worked for JPMorgan Chase, where she served as vice president and community relations manager of the philanthropy division.

John Fitzpatrick
Educate Texas
Fitzpatrick is executive director of Educate Texas. He previously served as executive director of the Capital Area Training Foundation (now Skillpoint Alliance), where he worked to build relationships between the business sector, educational interest groups and community partners for the benefit of Central Texans. Concurrently, he served on the Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees and as the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce’s vice president for education and workforce development. He spent four years on Capitol Hill working on education and workforce development policies for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Fitzpatrick began his career in education as a middle school teacher and coach.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and master’s degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.

Rebecca Flores
City of San Antonio
Flores is education program administration at the City of San Antonio. In this role, she oversees many of the city’s education and youth initiatives, including the NXT Level Youth Opportunity Center, a partnership with Goodwill of San Antonio and Communities in Schools of San Antonio.

She has an extensive background in education and worked with school districts throughout the state on school finance and assessment and accountability issues while working at Moak, Casey & Associates. She also worked on developing and implementing “Pre-K 4 SA,” a citywide early education initiative. Previously, she served as the director of government relations for the Houston Independent School District (HISD) and oversaw the district’s federal, state and local legislative issues. She taught at HISD and served as an adjunct professor for the Houston Community College System.

Flores has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and a master’s degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Hannah Gourgey
Educate Texas
Gourgey is an education and workforce consultant with over two decades experience in building cross-sector collaborations designed to help community organizations, schools and colleges engage in data-driven systems change. Since 2017, she has worked with Educate Texas to launch and lead Houston’s Bridge to College and Career Success, focused on building partnerships to re-engage opportunity youth and young adults and support them on their pathways to college and career success

Previously, Gourgey helped to build E3 Alliance, a data-driven education nonprofit in Central Texas and a national model for collective impact. From 2008 to 2015 she helped steward goals of The Blueprint for Educational Change™, which cross the cradle-to-career continuum, including school readiness through high school, college and career success. Across the state, she has provided guidance for regions interested in using a research-based, collective impact approach to systems change in education.

Gourgey holds a BA from Northwestern University, an MA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a PhD from the University of Texas.

Molly Hubbert Doyle
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Hubbert Doyle joined the Community Development Department of the Dallas Fed in 2013. In her role as community development analyst, she contributes to the Federal Reserve’s economic growth objectives by organizing events, convening partnerships and producing web and multimedia content on issues faced by low- and moderate-income communities. This involves work in the areas of financial access, economic development and neighborhood revitalization.

Hubbert Doyle previously worked in the nonprofit sector. She was a program planner at BakerRipley (formerly Neighborhood Centers Inc.) and an AmeriCorps member at the Cooperative for After-School Enrichment in Houston, Texas.

She holds a BA in sociology from the University of Tulsa and a master’s in social work (macro practice) from the University of Houston.

Annika Little
Asset Funders Network
Little is a strategic philanthropy consultant and also serves as deputy director for the Asset Funders Network (AFN). In these roles, she develops and guide’s AFN’s programming strategy, strategic partnerships and special projects.

Before joining AFN, she spent more than 15 years working in the fields of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. Most recently, she served as a senior vice president and national program manager for Bank of America. In this role, she supported the company’s lending, investing and giving activities to strengthen the economic health of communities. Prior to joining Bank of America, she held a number of positions with Fannie Mae and the Fannie Mae Foundation, with a special focus on housing and community development issues and policy.

Little holds degrees from Northwestern University and American University.

Roy C. Lopez
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
As assistant vice president and community development officer, Lopez leads the Dallas Fed’s community development function, promoting economic growth and financial stability for low- and moderate-income communities. His current responsibilities include strategic planning, management and implementation of outreach programs across the Eleventh Federal Reserve District. Lopez returned to the Dallas Fed after working as a community development banker for Capital One Bank. He managed the bank’s external relationships, community development philanthropy and high-impact Community Reinvestment Act programs in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. He originally joined the Dallas Fed in 2005.

Lopez serves on several nonprofit boards, including the Center for Nonprofit Management and RAISE Texas. He is a 2015 Presidential Leadership Scholar, a leadership development initiative in conjunction with the George W. Bush and Clinton presidential centers. He is also a member of The Real Estate Council, Social Venture Partners Dallas, Opportunity Dallas and the Urban Land Institute.

Lopez is a graduate of Texas A&M University and has a master’s degree from Trinity University in San Antonio.

Imicuk Loyuk
SERJobs
Loyuk has served at SERJobs for six years and currently holds the title of client engagement and special projects manager. Throughout her time with SERJobs, she has primarily led programs offering job-readiness training and work experience opportunities for youth and young adults ages 16–24. An integral part of her role has been establishing strategic community and employer partnerships to facilitate client engagement and serve clients throughout the Greater Houston area and beyond. Prior to joining SERJobs, Loyuk served three years in the Houston nonprofit community developing and implementing education programming.

Monique Miles
Aspen Institute Opportunity Youth Forum
Miles is director of the Opportunity Youth Forum and deputy director of the Forum for Community Solutions at the Aspen Institute.

Previously, she was the director of postsecondary achievement at the National Youth Employment Coalition.In her role, she oversaw the Postsecondary Success Initiative, a national pilot that supported community-based organizations across the country to design and implement postsecondary programming for students who were disconnected from education. Miles began her career in education reform working as a literacy instructor at Youth Opportunity Boston. She worked directly with students remanded to the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services to design and deliver education and career development curriculum. She went on to serve the same population of students through political advocacy initiatives at the Commonwealth Corporation.

Miles serves as vice chair of the board of trustees at the Pomfret School. She also serves on the advisory board of Tulane University Cowen Institute of Public Education Initiatives. She is on the board of Independent Trust and the Corps Network.

She earned a BS from Springfield College and a master’s in education, policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Andrew O. Moore
National League of Cities
Moore serves as director of youth and young adult connections at the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education and Families (YEF), where he has worked since 2004. The YEF Institute is a foundation-funded “action tank” that helps municipal leaders implement practical solutions on behalf of the children, youth and families in their communities. He leads initiatives focused on equitably connecting children with nature, reducing jail populations and juvenile justice involvement, and expanding the growing national network of dropout reengagement centers.

Earlier, at the organization now known as The Corps Network, Moore spent 15 years building the nationwide network of service and conservation corps.

Moore holds degrees from Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government, and serves on the boards of the National Youth Employment Coalition and Conservation Legacy.

Alfreda B. Norman
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
In her role as senior vice president, Norman oversees the Dallas Fed’s communications and public outreach programs. She has responsibility for corporate communications, publications/digital services, community development, economic education and financial institution relationship management. Since joining the Bank in 2004, she has also served as an officer and vice president of the Community Development Department, promoting financial stability for low- and moderate-income communities. Previously, Norman was one of the first neighborhood development officers at Bank of America in Texas. She has extensive experience working with the public and private sectors and held management positions at the city of Dallas’ Office of Cultural Affairs and The Container Store corporate headquarters.

Norman is a board trustee at the Communities Foundation of Texas and chairs the philanthropy committee. She serves on the executive board of the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University and is a board trustee and a member of the public affairs committee at Southwestern Medical Foundation. She is on the executive board of Big Thought and the advisory board of Year Up. She is also a member of the North Texas Asset Funders Network, Dallas Assembly and Executive Women’s Roundtable.

Norman earned a bachelor’s degree from SMU and is a graduate of the University of Virginia’s Graduate School of Retail Banking.

Dwight Powery
Year Up
Powery is national site director of the west region at Year Up, where he is responsible for operations in markets including Seattle, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Dallas–Fort Worth—serving nearly 1,680 young adults each year (as of the July 2020 cohort). He has more than 30 years of executive experience in both corporate environments and the nonprofit sector, with a focus on strengthening families and developing youth. Powery volunteers as a youth basketball coach and works closely with the Arthritis Foundation of Northern California.

He graduated from Columbia University and completed the executive development program at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Rudy Requeno
MCA Communications
Requeno is the career development manager for MCA Communications, a construction technology company headquartered in Houston, Texas. He also serves as the director for Community for Education, a nonprofit that helps underrepresented students attend college. He is passionate about education access for youth and constitutional law.

He graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in government.

Steven Sebastian
Gap Inc.
Sebastian is a district manager with Old Navy and Gap Inc., leading 13 stores in the Houston metro area. He started his retail career as a sales associate at JCPenney over 23 years ago and has worked in nine states in the East and South, including three years in the New York City boroughs. He joined Old Navy in 1998 as a general manager, and in his most recent assignment, he leads a store portfolio generating over $80 million, with more than 600 brand associates and 75 leaders.

Parc Smith
American YouthWorks
Smith began his tenure at American YouthWorks in 1995 as an instructor and crew leader for the Texas Conservation Corps program. Currently, he is CEO, overseeing operations in Texas (Austin and Houston) and Louisiana (Baton Rouge), where program participants gain career training while serving their community. This includes building affordable housing and providing health care services, environmental conservation and disaster relief work.

Smith has dedicated his entire career to public service, with over 20 years of experience in workforce development for young adults with a focus on opportunity youth, social justice, education and national service. He participates in several local and national collaborative organizations and is a founding member of ServeAustin. He serves on the steering committee for the Austin Opportunity Youth Collaborative and on the Corps Network’s Board Corps Council, which represents 135 service and conservation corps across the nation, engaging 25,000 young people annually. He has also served on the Department of Interior 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Federal Advisory Committee and has held several regional advisory positions and served on boards of local nonprofit organizations.

Ann B. Stiles
Project Grad
Stiles has provided executive leadership to Project Grad Houston since 2006. She began her career there in 1997 as a mathematics consultant and held increasingly responsible positions before becoming president and CEO. Previously, she was a fifth grade teacher in the first feeder system of the Project Grad partnership. Prior to entering the field of education, she worked in corporate accounting with Occidental Petroleum, and later, as chief of staff for a major government contractor. Stiles has held adjunct positions in the departments of education at the University of Houston, University of Houston-Downtown, University of Houston Clear Lake and University of St. Thomas.

She holds a BA and a master’s degree from the University of St. Thomas. She earned her PhD in education from the University of Houston.

Carolyn Watson
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Watson is a vice president of corporate responsibility at JPMorgan Chase & Co. She directs the JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s philanthropic investments for Houston, Austin, San Antonio and El Paso, which collectively employ more than 10,000 people. The approach of each high-impact investment is to leverage the company’s strength—and the dedication of its talented employees—to tackle pressing social and economic challenges. The foundation focuses on jobs and skills, small business expansion, financial health and neighborhood revitalization.

She serves on the Greater Houston Partnership’s UpSkill Houston Executive Committee. In collaboration with area employers, she led the development of PetrochemWorks.com, an engaging and interactive career platform targeting high school students and young adults for careers in the petrochemical industry. Most recently, she led the creation of the Bridge to College and Career Success partnership, which is designed to pave employment and post-secondary education pathways for Houston’s opportunity youth.

Watson has over 25 years of professional experience spanning the government, nonprofit and private sectors.

She holds a BA from Louisiana State University and a Master of Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. She received a Master of Science in Management from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

For More Information

Contact Molly Hubbert-Doyle or 214-922-9415.