Archive for category: Today Foundation News


Categories: Today Foundation News

On April 8, 2017, TLF held the kick off for the American Leaders Institute with Congressman Sessions. Herschel Walker was the guest speaker and shared his message for reaching your goals. After struggling both academically and socially as a young adolescent, Herschel realized that if things were going to change they needed to start with him. After creating a daily workout routine of 1500 push ups and 2500 sit ups, his strength surpassed everyone and he became an outstanding athlete. He used that same strategy and pushed himself academically and graduated valedictorian of his high school class. He went on to become a Heisman Trophy winner, an NFL football player playing for the Dallas Cowboys (and other teams) and an Olympian. He attributes his success to his faith, family and pure determination.

What a great role model he provided for the students not only as they begin preparing for their trip to Washington, D.C. but as they end their senior year of high school and will soon be starting their college careers. Set your goals high and work harder than everyone else around you!

Career Pathways

Categories: News, Today Foundation News
By Jorge Pompa
Bryan Adams High School
TLF 2016
This month we focused on different career options by hosting a career panel which consisted of well-versed professionals that work, and have worked, in a variety of fields. The diversity among the panelists gave us an opportunity to see how people’s paths can lead them to their true calling in life, a calling that every panelist felt determined to fulfill. As the professionals said, their journey was far from a straight line so the work is never finished.
Not only did we get a chance to ask the speakers questions during the discussion, but were able to engage with them on a personal level afterwards. This was a wonderful opportunity to ask specifically about career development and life choices.  While in the short term, it may seem that their words will not change a life, in the grand scheme of things every piece of advice offered will help us improve as individuals and future professionals in the workforce. I think it is safe to say that without TLF many of the members would not have the opportunity to interact with these professionals and expand their networks.
Thank you to Calvert Collins Bratton, Methodist Health System; Byron Sanders, U.S. Trust; Crystal Jamaica, Balfour Beatty Construction; Hilary Blake, Dallas County Assistant District Attorney; and Charlotte Carlisle, Children at Risk for being a part of the career panel and taking the time to share your experience with us.

4th Dallas Youth Summit – How Can We Increase Understanding Between Police & Young People

Categories: News, Today Foundation News


By Jacob Ian Snyder
Mabank High School
TLF 2016
On January 8th, 2017, TLF hosted the 4th Annual Youth Summit. The purpose? To evaluate how to better the relationship between police and the community. TLF was honored to host the Dallas Youth Summit in partnership with Safer Dallas, Better Dallas, the Rotary Club of Dallas and the Dallas Police Department. Interim DPD Chief David Pughes opened the meeting, followed by our keynote speaker, Honorable Michael L. Williams.  Mr. Williams stressed how crucial this conversation was and urged students to stop and assess a situation before reacting.
We had eight panelists who gave their input on the issue at hand. The panel consisted of Eric Johnson, State Representative from District 100; Steve Pickett, reporter with CBS 11 for 21 years, covering issues such as gang violence, white supremacist groups and general assignments; Cristella Oviedo, TLF 2016, Irving High School; Detective Angela Garza, Senior Corporal with DPD; Vivian Nguyen, TLF 2016, Irving High School; Gary Tittle, Assistant Chief with the Dallas Police Department; Pastor Richie Butler, St. Paul United Methodist Church and Larry Terry, director of the SERCH Institute for the Improvement of the Community Through Education Research and Community Leadership at UNT Dallas.  Dallas District Attorney, Faith Johnson, also attended and expressed her support. 
With issues arising concerning a shooting in Ferguson, MO, the riots in Baltimore, and the most recent shootings in Dallas, TLF students wanted to start a grassroots movement with the hopes that it would evolve into something more and truly make a difference. The main ideas brought forth were that there must be an understanding among the community that the police have a job to do as public servants, but citizens are engendering fear of police in their children and the communication is lacking. We profile the police as bad individuals just as much as they profile us, and that’s where the level of understanding is lost. Police are citizens just like the rest of us. On the community level, there needs to be a balance. Police do not need to have any reason to use a weapon or excessive force in the first place.  If a situation seems to be escalating, it’s the true job of the police to deescalate that situation, but in an instance where control of the situation is lost, it becomes the job of the citizen to relax and bring control back into the picture. So, arising from this conversation were many great points for both sides, but the overall goal is to eliminate the very idea of “sides” between police and the community. We are all humans. We are all citizens. Now, it’s up to the community to take this conversation further and keep the fire blazing. TLF isn’t going to stop anytime soon, but we need YOU to get involved.