Rick Perry announces $3.78 Million Grant to launch Amachi Texas
Funding will support statewide effort to provide mentors to Children of Incarcerated Parents
DALLAS – Governor Rick Perry announced today a grant of $3.78 million to launch Amachi Texas, a new statewide effort that brings a powerful mentoring program to the Texas children who are at the greatest risk. In partnership with the Office of the Governor, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, One Star Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Texas, Amachi Texas’s mission is to stop the intergenerational cycle of crime and incarceration through providing and facilitating one to one mentoring relationships between a child of an incarcerated parent and a caring adult.
“With $3.78 million in state funds, the largest commitment ever made for an Amachi effort, Amachi Texas will mentor 1,300 children who have a parent behind bars, build infrastructure across the state to reach thousands more in the future and, I am confident, serve as a national model as to what can be accomplished when caring adults take the time to become a mentor.”
Joining Governor Perry in the launch of Amachi Texas were local Amachi Texas Partners which included Don Carty, BBBSA National Board Member; Commissioner Michael Williams, Texas Railroad Commissioner and Honorary State Chairman for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Texas; Christina Melton Crain, Texas Department of Criminal Justice and Susan Weddington of the One Star Foundation.
Amachi, a Nigerian word which means “Who knows what God has brought us through this child,” was founded nationally by two-time mayor of Philadelphia Rev. Dr. Wilson Goode in 2001. He was inspired to create the Amachi national initiative because his own life was changed by the mentoring he received as a youth when his father was incarcerated.
“We know that having a Big Brother or Big Sister in the life of a child can often be the difference between a child going to prison and a child going to college,” stated Dr. Goode. “I salute Governor Perry for this breakthrough in becoming the first state to fund a mentoring children of prisoners program statewide. Hopefully, many other states will follow.”
This grant will fund the first stage of the Amachi Texas program aimed at mentoring children with incarcerated family members while building the infrastructure across the state to reach thousands more and serve as a model to the nation.
On any given day in America there are approximately 7.3 million children with a parent in prison, on probation or on parole. Unfortunately statistics tell us that unless there is one-to-one intervention, 70% of these children will follow their parents into prison. Here in the DFW area there are 70,000 children who fit this description. Amachi Texas is here to provide them with a different path.