Governor’s Volunteer Award Recognizes FWISD Partner Fidelity Investments
Fort Worth ISD partner, Fidelity Investments is a 2018 Governor’s Volunteer Award honoree. The District nominated Fidelity Investments for the state-wide award because of the more than 7,900 community service hours the company’s North Texas employees have contributed in 2017 alone to benefit more than 65,400 Texas students, helping to create long-lasting impact. The company has partnered with Fort Worth ISD for nine years.
The financial services company, which offers its employees volunteer opportunities through its Fidelity Cares program, is being presented with the Partners In Education Award at the 35th annual Governor’s Volunteer Award reception scheduled for later this fall at the Texas Governor’s Mansion.
Cecilia Abbott, first lady of Texas and honorary chair of the annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards, made the announcement, Wednesday, August 15. Fidelity Investments is among 15 honorees being recognized this fall for contributions made in Texas “that have made a positive impact in their communities or across the state through service and volunteering,” according to a statement released by the governor’s office. The annual Governor’s Volunteer Award is administered by OneStar Foundation, a Texas nonprofit that promotes volunteer efforts and community service across the state, and it recognizes individuals, businesses and organization for their volunteer efforts.
“There is nothing more powerful than Texans helping Texans,” Mrs. Abbott said in a statement. “Whether it is through everyday volunteering and giving, or by responding to the most disastrous storm in our state’s history, Texans can always be depended on to answer the call to help their neighbors. This year’s Governor’s Volunteer Award winners are an inspiration to us all.”
The 2017-2018 year, Fidelity Investments volunteered at multiple schools throughout Fort Worth ISD. More than 200 employees participated in School Transformation Day beautification/campus makeover events. Employees launched a pilot program, Virtual Reading Mentors, in which they tutored Bonnie Brae Elementary School students for 30 minutes weekly in reading via video conference, which lead to significant student gains. At the secondary level, Fidelity Investments started the Self Branding for Success Apprentice Program at Dunbar High School. More than 20 high school students were mentored in person and virtually on developing a brand and preparing college portfolios that included cover letters and resumes. The program culminated with students visiting Fidelity Investments offices for a live “elevator speech” workshop and exposure to a corporate environment.
Examples of Fidelity Investments’ partnership with the Fort Worth ISD were detailed in a nomination letter for the Partners in Education Award. Several other organizations including Junior Achievement of the Chisholm Trail, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Fort Worth and others wrote letters in support of Fort Worth ISD’s nomination recognizing the company.
“Fidelity Investments is first and foremost a powerful partner in education to several districts in the area and a leader in the community that inspires other organizations to join in solving the challenges faced by educators. Fidelity Investments and their employees’ approach is professional, strategic, innovative, collaborative and inspiring,” wrote Jennifer Perez, FWISD family communications director, in her nomination letter. “The program aligns their employee volunteer resources to meet the needs of the students, teachers, administrators and the classrooms and to support District initiatives.”
Whether it’s teaching financial literacy in schools or partnering with local nonprofits to solve technology challenges to help close students’ achievement gaps, employees are empowered to make a real difference within the communities where they work and live.
Since 2013, Fidelity Investments has opened its Westlake regional campus to more than 3,000 Fort Worth and Dallas ISD students, providing mentoring on reading, financial literacy, leadership and personal branding. Employees also mentor youth through career and STEM initiatives at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County.
Another example of Fidelity Investments’ leadership in volunteer innovation is its work with Junior Achievement (JA) bringing JA programs onto local company sites and universities in a one-day workshop rather than in a traditional school setting over several weeks -- yielding practical versus theoretical experiences. The impact and effectiveness of this new delivery model has since been adopted by over fifteen additional businesses in the Fort Worth area as a vehicle to help prepare young people for college and careers.
“Our employee volunteers are passionate about supporting teachers, students and their families,” said Jennifer Gray, community relations manager, Fidelity Investments. “We are proud to have developed a deep, multi-year partnership with the Fort Worth ISD. The district’s strong leadership, combined with Fidelity Investments’ approach of thinking differently, are keys to the success of this partnership and ultimately yield the greatest impact year round."
View the entire list of 2018 Governor’s Volunteer Award honorees here.