Tackling a Big Problem With Help From the TFA Network
Adeeb Barqawi (Houston ‘12) taps into the Teach For America community to build a stronger safety net for students and families.
February 7, 2019
I still remember the story of one of my kids. Her head was down and I tried every intervention, and she wouldn't raise her head up. I leaned down and I asked her, "What's going on?" She said, "My mom was murdered last night and I came to school to eat."
I was like, "Well, what do I do? What system do I access?” I went to every foundation and I said, "We need a data management system to help schools connect with social and health services in a much more coordinated fashion." You don't even know what services exist, who's using them, why are they being used, are they making a difference and so on…
ProUnitas was formed and the first product is called Purple. Now Purple is in more than 82 schools, and it's growing. That was really when I cultivated the community and leveraged the relationships formed in Teach For America. Being in the classroom, having that experience, understanding truly what's going on, pulling on the network—that’s powerful.