On Monday, the Fort Bend County District’s Attorney’s Office announced the launch of a new community outreach initiative called the Expose Excellence Youth Program. Under the program, the district attorney’s office and other government agencies in the county will partner on various activities geared toward youths deemed “at risk and in need of intervention,” according to a news release.
Fort Bend County DA Brian Middleton, who said he had the idea for the program upon taking office in 2019, began meeting with other elected officials and county department heads last December to streamline the creation of the program. It will kick off with an event at Hightower High School (3333 Hurricane Ln.) from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 27.
“We were troubled by the repetitious presence of kind-hearted, non-violent juvenile offenders within the justice system,” Middleton said in a news release. “We observed that many of the offenders ended up in the system due to a lack of proper guidance.”
The program is a collaboration between Middleton’s office, the Fort Bend County Juvenile Probation Department, Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office and Fort Bend County Community Supervision & Corrections department. Beyond Saturday’s kickoff event, district attorney’s office spokesperson Wesley Wittig said events are still in the process of being scheduled.
The Fort Bend County Juvenile Probation Department will run some of the initiatives within the program, according to Wittig, while Middleton’s office will run other portions.
The program will focus on:
- Job skills and career training
- Business and entrepreneur workshops
- Recreational activities
- Life skills training
- Field trips
- Self-expression activities (spoken word, poetry and visual arts)
- Tutoring services
- Driver's education
- Financial aid advocacy and support
- Academic support and advocacy
- Exposure to fine arts
- Mental health and substance abuse support
“COVID-19 diminished many of the protective factors that existed prior to the pandemic,” Juvenile Probation Director Kyle Dobbs said. “…The Expose Excellence Youth Program will help youth acquire positive self-awareness, cultural competency, aspiration, and self-expression. The program will help youth to do well academically and to be well emotionally.”
Those wishing to inquire about the program or apply for it can call the county’s Juvenile Probation Department at 281-633-7400.