How did this get started? - Thank you for reading
My husband, Richard Farias, began his community work when he came back from Vietnam. He saw so many children, hungry and wandering the streets. He said to himself that if he came back alive he would dedicate his life to helping children. He received his degree in social rehabilitation and social services and also completed his masters in criminology and corrections. His first job after 4 years of military service was 16 years in the juvenile justice system where he worked with abused and neglected children and with juvenile delinquents. He moved over to the non-profit sector and worked at the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans as Executive Director. In 1992 he founded Tejano for Community Concerns (TCCC). Under TCCC he started one of the first charter school with two campuses in Texas, built affordable housing, built a senior citizen assisted living apartment complex and started Hojar de Ninos (a shelter for abused and neglected children). He has received numerous awards for his work. In 2012 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the City of Houston under Mayor Annise Parker for improving the lives of low income children and families and helping to make Houston a better place to live. Wanting to make a greater impact on children and families of Harris County he started ALCREJ. One of ALCREJ’s main project is the Latino Education Summits which have been endorsed by the White House Initiative on Hispanic Educational Excellence. Our commitment is holding summits four times a year throughout the Houston area for the next ten years. The primary purpose of the summits is to improve public education, increase graduation rates and decrease the drop out epidemic amongst Latinos. ALCREJ also provides nutrition classes through a program called Comprando Rico y Sano (Buying Healthy & Nutritious Food on a Budget) through community discussions (charlas) throughout the Houston area and including the NW Trailer Park Community.
The Christmas party now referred to Christmas with ALCREJ was started 7 years ago, has become a very important initiative for the low income children that we serve. We welcome community participation. The program basically provides a complete outfit for every child (including shirt, pants, shoes and an age appropriate gift).
Richard is often asked to help other community initiatives including the Talento Bilingue de Houston (TBH). TBH is a cultural arts and education center. He believes that STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) is what our kids need especially low income children.
Thank you for caring!
Rita A. Farias
Suggested amount to sponsor a child is $50-$100 depending on age - each child receives an entire outfit (top, pants, shoes) and an age appropriate gift.