AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Austin-based philanthropists, Ryan and Annie Jacob, announce a $1,000,000 donation to Friends of the Children Austin, a local non-profit focused on breaking the cycle of generational poverty through long-term, positive relationships with children experiencing the greatest barriers. FriendsAustin is part of a national network of Friends of the Children chapters across the United States.
Founded in 1993, Friends of the Children was created to help young children overcome adversity and realize their inherent resilience and potential. Initially established in Portland, Oregon, Friends of the Children was brought to Austin, Texas in 2017. Since then, FriendsAustin has partnered with Austin Independent School District and CASA of Travis County to seek out and serve the local communities' children who are most in need of consistent support in their lives. Ryan and Annie's donation will enable FriendsAustin to hire and train additional professional, salaried, full-time and bilingual mentors, known as Friends, whose full-time job is to support Austin's youth to succeed, despite the extremely challenging situations most experience. During their four hours together each week with every child in the program, Friends and their youth build academic, social-emotional and life skills. Additionally, Friends provide wraparound support to family members of the children to promote further stability for the entire family.
"We are immeasurably grateful for the substantial commitment Ryan and Annie Jacob have made to Friends of the Children Austin," said Nancy Pollard, executive director for FriendsAustin. "A multi-year gift of this size is transformative for our organization to ensure continued growth and sustainability. Our goal is to serve children in Austin who are most in need of the presence of a consistent, stable and professional mentor from kindergarten through high school graduation; the long-term and significant partnership with the Jacob's provides a huge impact on our capacity to achieve that goal."
"Improving the lives of children facing systematic obstacles is a philanthropic focus for our family," said Annie Jacob. "FriendsAustin continues to perform phenomenal work to ensure children throughout the Austin area have a positive, stable role model. The mentors, or Friends, create meaningful experiences to explore each child's unique talents and interests. FriendsAustin is shaping the future leaders of our local community and our nation. We are proud to support a non-profit organization that directly impacts our local community."
Ryan Jacob added, "Friends of the Children has developed a successful model to spark generational change among children that are facing adversity. We are proud to support FriendsAustin and we hope that our donation will enable FriendsAustin to continue to provide children with a solid foundation for future success."
Annie Jacob serves on the FriendsAustin Board of Directors. Annie Jacob is a teacher, volunteer and advocate for children in disadvantaged environments. Previously an elementary teacher in Richmond, California, Annie Jacob understands the importance of building sustained and nurturing relationships with youth. As the nation recognizes and expands opportunities for diversity, equity, and inclusion, the Jacob family is leading to ensure children facing adversity are recognized, acknowledged, and prioritized.