September 30, 2018
The Fannie C. Harris Facility Has a New Name
The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously on September 27th in favor of changing the name of the former "Fannie C. Harris Elementary School" to "Fannie C. Harris Youth Center." The After8toEducate collaborative, at the recommendation of the After8 Steering Committee, chose to keep the name Fannie C. Harris to commemorate a pioneer teacher for one of the first African American high schools in Dallas. The name "Youth Center" was chosen because it incorporates both the drop-in center and the emergency shelter components of the facility. After8 believes that this name celebrates the legacy of Mrs. Harris and motivates all youth experiencing homelessness and housing instability to overcome their adversities.
After8 Steering Committee Presents Work Group Recommendations
After six months of meetings, the 40-person, cross-sector steering committee met on September 11 th to make recommendations on project implementation. Over the course of the six-month commitment, the committee separated into six different work groups to discuss different elements of the After8 collaborative, including:

  • Program Services: Education
  • Program Services: Wrap-around Services
  • Advocacy & Training
  • Community Engagement
  • Building Design
  • Outcomes & Resource Development

After8 leadership is deeply thankful for the time and dedication of these individuals in advising the collaborative on these topics.
Funding News
Matching Funds Have Been Met
Earlier in the summer, After8 announced a matching funds grant , which the Rainwater Foundation would match up to the $500,000 maximum amount. After8 is pleased to announce that the $500,000 match has been met 2 months ahead of the November 30th deadline. A $100,000 anonymous donation as well as North Texas Giving Day helped to spur a larger contribution that finished the match campaign. This brings After8 closer to its capital fundraising goal supporting the drop-in center to open later this fall and the shelter to open in the spring. Further contributions can be made here.
Community Happenings
Meet Damian Gracia: CitySquare's New Program Manager
CitySquare welcomes Damian Gracia who will serve as the new Drop-in Center Program Manager at the Fannie C. Harris Youth Center. Damian comes to Dallas with a 12-year career working with youth and families at various not-for-profits in the New York City area. Some of these included working as a Case Planner with Children’s Services, a Child and Family Therapist, Job Readiness Coordinator, Program Manager, as well as Executive Director for the Dorothy Bennett Mercy Center in Brooklyn NY.

He received his master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, and bachelor’s degree in Advertising from Pace University in Pleasantville, NY. He currently resides in Carrollton.
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