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Firethorne has committed to Katy ISD’s Partners in Education (PIE) as the first KEYS Scholarship Platinum Sponsor for 2011. As a KEYS sponsor, Firethorne is helping to create scholarships for students who have participated in KEYS through their senior year.  This is the first year that PIE has opened sponsorship levels for KEYS, with 100 percent of the sponsorship dollars going directly to KEYS Scholarships.  Former KEYS student Eduardo Reyes and his KEYS mentor Jim Burns visited Firethorne representatives last week to thank them for their generous support.

“The KEYS mentoring program has helped me stay on the right path towards school and life,” said Reyes, who is a student leader at the University of Houston, studying economics.  “Supporting KEYS is important because it gives students the necessary tools to not only stay on the right track, but to also change their lives.”

The KEYS (Keep Encouraging Youth toward Success) mentor program is offered to Katy ISD students who are on the brink of success. Often, these students have been challenged by life circumstances outside of their control.  Mentors meet with their students on campus each week during the school year, in between the school day.

“We promise these students that if they stay in the program through their senior year, they will be eligible to apply for a KEYS Scholarship,” said Janet Theis, Katy ISD PIE specialist.

When Reyes’ mentor first met him, it wasn’t with the intent of becoming his mentor, it was with the intent of helping him organize his backpack, locker and life. After several weeks of helping Reyes get organized, Burns naturally fell into the role of becoming his mentor.  For the next six years, Burns helped Reyes recognize his gifts, talents, intelligence and encouraged him to pursue his dreams.

“A few of our staff members have first-hand experience as mentors with KEYS,” said Firethorne General Manager Wayne Meyer.  “It is through them that we know that this program really makes a difference directly in the Katy community.”

Firethorne, a 1,400-acre residential community in Katy/Fulshear, is actively involved with Katy ISD through programs such as Junior Achievement and the Partners in Education annual Promise to Read and Food for Families programs.  Firethorne is located near the crossroads of I-10 west and FM 1463.

KEYS’ annual event Ties & Tiaras, hosted at Agave Road on March 1, 2012, will celebrate mentors while supporting the KEYS Scholarship Fund.  Featuring student performances throughout the come-and-go event, the 2012 Mentors of the Year will also be announced.

KEYS is brought to you by Partners in Education, the department that brings the community into the classroom.  For more information about KEYS and to find out how you can get involved, visit the KEYS web page at katyisd.org, or contact Martha Brown at 281-396-2468.

Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Jim Burns, KEYS Mentor; Eduardo Reyes, former KEYS student now attending the University of Houston; Dr. Cazilda Steele, principal, Mayde Creek High School; and Wayne Meyer, general manager, Firethorne. Burns, Reyes and Steele recently visited Firethorne in appreciation of their generosity to the KEYS Scholarship Fund.
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