I, Ekeka Abazie, conceived of Professional Students after Project Prom. Project Prom was an event I assisted in coordinating and executing from February 25 until April 8. I represented a nonprofit clinic at a city board meeting to plan for the event because we would be providing free HIV screenings and associated health checks. At the meeting, the logistics specialist gave an estimate for the number of student participants and how we were to accommodate them which made me believe that I needed to reach out to the community for more donations. I made speeches around my community and drew attention for the event at my high school, and I was able to raise over 40 dresses with price tags averaging around $100. I sent those donations to the 3rd ward multi-services center where the event was to be held and organized them. At the event, I helped as much as I could and explained the health services that the clinic I represented provided to the student participants. I was shocked at how high the demand was for our help. The entire center was covered with students from all around the city of Houston with some even bringing their own children along to get assistance. I discovered that donations were still pouring in , so I and a group of my friends decided to form Professional Students to provide to those students. We received our Certificate of Formation from the Secretary of State of Texas as a domestic non-profit in June of 2017.
______________What We Do________________
Professional Students is a Texas based state recognized nonprofit aimed at educating non-college bound youth on certificate occupations and trades that would be preferable over dropping out or taking minimum wage jobs. For example, Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) go through a one year program, and upon completion, average hourly rates of over $20, but fast food employees would be lucky to get hourly pay exceeding $9.
We coordinate events where we use your donations of professional wear to provide students with morale boosts and clothes for their soon to come job interviews.