Houston Health Department

TeamUP for Houston Youth expands in 2021 to broaden MBK Houston reach


February 3, 2021

TeamUP for Houston Youth kicks off Spring 2021 with new partners and campuses, leveraging the power of sport to motivate and advance Houston’s youth.

HOUSTON - Under the auspices of the Mayor’s Office of Education and My Brother’s Keeper Houston, TeamUP for Houston is launching its fourth year as a virtual program this month, expanding to 12 school campuses with exciting new sports partnerships throughout the city.

In collaboration with the Houston Health Department and the Houston Health Foundation, Bloomberg Associates guided the partnership in the creation of TeamUP for Houston’s Youth in 2017 to utilize the power and influence of sports to help develop youth in underserved communities. The program equips youth with professional skills and experiences in the sports industry, driving motivation to pursue college or a career path.

Since its inception, the program has expanded to additional high school campuses across the city, sport partners within the esports and sports industry, and institutions of higher learning. It is collaboratively working to serve Houston students attending feeder pattern high schools in and nearby Mayor Sylvester Turner's designated Complete Communities neighborhoods and My Brother’s Keeper feeder patterns.

"There is no doubt that sports play a significant role in shaping our communities. Now, just like during historic floods and an unprecedented pandemic, our sports teams and partners are stepping up to the plate for our youth in a way that keeps Houston strong and resilient. Together, we are building a powerful foundation for the underserved youth in our community,“ said Mayor Sylvester Turner.

The inaugural TeamUP initiative was launched with the Houston Marathon Foundation and Sugar Land Skeeters. Expanding in the 2018-2019 school year, the Harris County Houston Sports Authority and the Houston Dynamo & Houston Dash joined the program to enhance the programs' reach and impact.

In 2021, TeamUP will "take the field" with new TeamUP Clubs “Starting Five” partnerships:

  • Campus Partners: Austin, Kashmere, Lamar, Madison, Milby, North Forest, Sam Houston, Scarborough, Sharpstown, Washington, Westbury, Wheatley, Wisdom, Worthing, Yates High Schools (Houston Independent School District); YES Prepartory – Gulfton; and Legacy The School of Sport Sciences (Charter)
  • Education Partners: Houston Baptist University, Prairie View A&M University, Rice University, Texas Southern University, and the University of Houston
  • Sports Partners: Chevron Houston Marathon, Harris County Houston Sports Authority, Houston Dash/Dynamo, Houston National Society of Black Sports Professionals, Houston Outlaws, Houston Rockets, Houston Sabercats, Houston Texans, HTX Sports Tech, and the Sugar Land Skeeters
  • Concession Partner: Whataburger
  • Corporate Partner: AT&T

AT&T is the first TeamUP for Houston program sponsor, partnering with Mayor Turner’s Hire Houston Youth program by subsidizing internships with sports organization partners.

Throughout the program, partners will host "Discovery Days," consisting of monthly, one-hour workshops. Front office executives and sports figures are invited to the virtual classroom to expose youth to educational and career opportunities within the sports industry, provide professional development workshops, and offer career pursuits.

"I grew up playing baseball through college and tried my hand at being a semi-pro. I leveraged my playing career to let the sport pay for my education. That decision led me to a career in public service, working in the Mayor's Office and serving youth by exposing them to unique opportunities based on my experiences," said Brandon Denton, TeamUPfor Houston Program Manager.

"TeamUP is a game-changer. While there are a lot of great high school athletes in Houston, there are just as many future executives and business leaders of sports organizations currently in the stands. For students, this program creates awareness of the wide variety of opportunities within the esports and sports industry, readies them to pursue those opportunities, and exposes them to local executives and organizations who possess a desire to impact Houston's youth positively," Denton continued. 

The TeamUP Program will kick off on Thursday, February 4, and is limited to select Houston area high school campuses listed above.

For more information and to access the registration application, visit our TeamUp for Houston's Youth section of our website.