“Ultimately, our job as an organization that supports education is to affect every single student in a positive way,” NBCEA Chair Jeff Barry said.
The nonprofit, which was founded in 2007, has provided PISD students at Pearland High School, Dawson High School, and Turner College and Career High School with scholarships and equipment such as utensils for the culinary school or scrap metal for the other programs in PISD.
The NBCEA has also helped sponsor certifications, helping students to be a certified nursing assistant or obtain a certification to service motor vehicle air conditioners. It also sponsors dual-enrollment classes, such as accounting and culinary arts, organization officials said.
Since its inception, the nonprofit has raised over $450,000 to cover equipment and certification fees, NBCEA Executive Director Cindy Buchwald said.
With these programs available, numerous PISD students have graduated high school with an associate degree, which gives them a big advantage when they enter college, Barry said.
In the 2020-21 school year, 107 PISD students graduated with an associate degree, PISD Executive Director of Communications Kim Hocott said. The number of students graduating with an associate degree is a big accomplishment, Barry said.
“For us, that’s a huge feather in our cap,” he said. “That’s 100 students whose parents don’t have to spend money for almost two years of college studies.”
The NBCEA receives money from its numerous stakeholders, which include Frost Bank, HCA Gulf Coast Region and O’Day Drilling Co., which has contributed over $30,000, according to the NBCEA website.
Stakeholders are committed to providing at least two scholarships a year worth $1,000 total, which can be split to $500 for equipment and $500 for a scholarship, which can go to tuition or other classroom expenses, Barry said.
In the 2020-21 school year, the NBCEA was able to raise $31,000 in scholarships, Barry said.
“The biggest thing we want is for people to know who we are and what we do,” he said. “We want people, our teachers and educators at our campuses to request stuff. We want them to innovate in the classroom. We want them to be the center of excellence for whatever it is that they’re doing. We want to be at the forefront of being able to help them do that."