press release

ChevronTexaco Donates $1 Million to Help Students Succeed

Houston Independent School District and Houston Area Urban League Each Receive $500,000 for School Initiatives

HOUSTON, Texas, Dec. 6, 2004 -- The Houston Independent School District (HISD) and the Houston Area Urban League today announced that ChevronTexaco Corp. is contributing a total of $1 million for initiatives to reduce dropout rates among local high school students.

"The goal of ChevronTexaco's work in the community is to increase the potential of individuals to succeed and prosper in our society. We believe our support of these ambitious programs is a great way to help children overcome difficult circumstances and become successful." said Ray Wilcox, vice president and president of ChevronTexaco Exploration and Production Co.

The $1 million contribution will be shared between HISD and the Urban League. HISD has earmarked $500,000 to its Expectation: Graduation initiative. HISD launched its effort to focus public attention on the dropout issue, called "expectation: GRADUATION," last May when it convened a citywide summit on graduation and dropouts.

The ChevronTexaco grant will support the public-awareness campaign to engage the entire community in a citywide response to the issues surrounding the dropout problem. HISD in January will open a new school for immigrant students who are at risk of for dropping out. The ChevronTexaco grant will pay for the salary of an assistant principal at the immigrant school. The district recently hired 10 dropout prevention specialists to work directly with students to keep them in class. The ChevronTexaco donation will pay for the salary of a social services expert that will work with dropout prevention specialists. HISD's August 28 door-to-door campaign persuaded more than 100 immigrant students who had already dropped out of school to come back.

"ChevronTexaco's generous gift shows that graduating Houston's nearly 50,000 high school students is a priority for the entire community," said HISD Interim Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra.

The Houston Area Urban League will use ChevronTexaco's $500,000 investment to fund existing programs in early literacy training, leadership development, computer training and work force development. The Urban League also will launch a Weekend College program to prepare high school students for college level curriculums and a Hip Hop Center to foster educational enrichment through the use of today's media, music, technology and business principles.

"Very seldom are human service organizations given the opportunity to both dream and implement," said Sylvia Brooks, president of the Houston Area Urban League. "ChevronTexaco's grant gives The Urban League proper resources to implement additional dropout prevention models and support to its existing program in the northeast part of the city."

About ChevronTexaco

Currently celebrating its 125th anniversary, ChevronTexaco is one of the world's leading energy companies. With more than 47,000 employees, ChevronTexaco conducts business in approximately 180 countries around the world, producing and transporting crude oil and natural gas, and marketing and distributing fuels and other energy products. ChevronTexaco is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information on ChevronTexaco is available at

About HISD

The Houston Independent School District is the largest school system in Texas and America's seventh-largest school district. HISD has been working to help with underlying issues that affect the graduation and dropout rate, such as attendance, a student's connection to school, economic factors, health and social issues, immigration, mobility and retention.

About Houston Area Urban League

The Houston Area Urban League was founded in 1968 and is a United Way Agency affiliated with the National Urban League. The mission of the Houston Area Urban League is to enable African-Americans and other minorities to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights through educational support services, housing and social services, health initiatives, work force training, and work force and economic development.

Updated: December 2004