We are pleased to announce the awarding of the final $770,000 of FY2020, in support of efforts that will lead to greater access to higher education and student success in preparing for and earning a college degree. Overall, Trellis Foundation awarded $3 million this fiscal year.

Grants selected will support statewide strategy and capacity-building measures, student advocate engagement, equity scans and training, and mentoring for male students of color:

  • $200,000 to the Texas Association of Community Colleges/TCCEI to build a data infrastructure to connect statewide data resources, labor market data, and internal data to efficiently produce analyses and insights; bolster the in-house analytics capacity at all colleges, with a special focus on small and rural colleges; and drive policy development for student success.
  • $100,000 to the Texas Higher Education Foundation to develop an actionable and transformative strategic plan for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
  • $200,000 to the University of Houston to support a network of 10 Houston GPS partner colleges and universities to implement strategic equity assessments, training, and projects at-scale to address systemic equity issues and to close equity gaps in attainment within and across postsecondary institutions and communities in the Gulf Coast region.
  • $100,000 to the Intercultural Development Research Association to provide real-world training to advocates of color to influence higher education policy in Texas.
  • $150,000 to the University of Texas at Austin to provide ongoing support for the work of Project MALES and the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color to improve postsecondary outcomes throughout the state.

In addition, six organizations were awarded funds in the Foundation’s first-ever micro-grant award cycle. This request sought proposals in four focus areas: Coping/trauma; Race and equity; Access to supports during COVID-19 (economic, mental health, etc.); and DEI Taskforce initiatives. Awards ranged from $2,000-$4,000 and prioritized projects generating deliverables to share field-wide. Priority was also given for budgets that allocated any requested stipends to professionals of color, in acknowledgement of the additional, unpaid work that they are often asked to complete in support of DEI efforts.

The recipients and their projects included:

  • Breakthrough Central Texas, “Building a Stronger Practice of Allyship and Anti-Racism,” Deliverable: Internal structures & Reflection piece (e.g., a blog).
  • Catch the Next (5 regions in Texas), “SteppingStones to Student Success,” Deliverable: Toolkit for each region, in English and Spanish.
  • College Forward, “Meditation and Mindfulness for Healing Racial Trauma,” Deliverable: Written guide for facilitators (and 4-session series for their staff).
  • RGV Focus, “Mental Health Resources across the Rio Grande Valley,” Deliverable: Webinars in English and Spanish.
  • EMERGE Fellowship (Harris County), “DEI Evaluation and Initiatives,” Deliverable: Internal Structures & Reflection piece (e.g., a blog).
  • PSS College Bound (RGV), “Virtual Advising monthly newsletter,” Deliverable: newsletter.

About Trellis Foundation

Founded by Trellis Company in 2017, Trellis Foundation is a grantmaking public charity focused on helping low-income students and students of color increase their ability to access, afford and complete a postsecondary education. More information is available at www.trellisfoundation.org.