The Work

The Prosper Waco initiative has resulted in numerous efforts aligned to the initiative goals, including the multi-partner collaborations, projects led by single partners, and collaborative grant applications listed below. Additionally, a number of initiative partners have aligned one or more of their programs to the initiative goals. Use the menu below to sort among initiative efforts focused on Education, Health, and Financial Security, or to select partner programs aligned to the initiative goals.
Click here to view agendas and notes from various initiative meetings, including Working Groups and the Community Engagement Council. 
Ascension Medical Mission at Home

Medical Mission at Home (MMAH) offers free medical and dental care for all residents in the Waco community, especially those who do not have health insurance, by bringing together local doctors, nurses, and community partners to provide free care, follow-up care and information about local support services. Medical Mission at Home is a program of Ascension, which Providence Healthcare Network is a member. Events like MMAH contribute to the community’s efforts to address the Access to Care goal of the initiative.

Click here to learn about the next MMAH and the services provided during the event.

Bank On Waco Coalition

With support from the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, local banks are driving the Bank On Waco effort to increase financial literacy and access to banking services for low-income people in our community.

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Baylor University Freedom Schools

The Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools program provides summer and after-school enrichment through a research-based and multicultural curriculum that supports children and families through five essential components: high quality academic and character-building enrichment; parent and family involvement; civic engagement and social action; intergenerational servant leadership development; and nutrition, health and mental health. Baylor University started Freedom Schools in the summer of 2016. Through Baylor’s Freedom School program, Waco ISD students who are at increased academic risk participate in seven-week literacy intensive at a local area middle school. Programs like Freedom Schools address the education goals of the initiative.

For more information about Baylor Freedom Schools, visit the Baylor School of Education website or contact Dr. Lakia Scott via email or via phone at 254-710-639.

Baylor University MELA

MELA, which stands for Math For Early Learners Academy, is a pilot program sponsored by Baylor School of Education’s Department of Curriculum & Instruction and aims to impact math understanding in pre-kindergarten children in Waco. MELA focuses on building number concepts that will propel children for success in math down the road. Lead by Dr. Sandi Cooper at Baylor University, this program will contribute to the community’s efforts of addressing School Readiness outcomes.

Visit MELA’s website to learn more.

Behavioral Health Leadership Team

The McLennan County Behavioral Health Leadership Team (BHLT) is comprised of leadership from the local mental health authority, healthcare providers, local government, and philanthropic foundations committed to aligning their resources to address mental health and substance abuse issues in our community. The BHLT works to implement recommendations of subcommittees of mental health practitioners.

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CampusTown Waco Initiative

A partnership of Baylor University, City of Waco, the Greater Waco Chamber, MCC, TSTC, and Texas Tech Waco to retain local college graduates by connecting them to job opportunities, internships, and recreational activities.

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Community Health Worker Initiative

In partnership with Providence Healthcare Network and Baylor Scott and White, the Family Health Center and Waco-McLennan County Public Health District are training and supporting the work of a dozen community health workers in high-need Waco zip codes to connect community members to accessible healthcare resources. Generous funding for this effort is provided by Episcopal Health Foundation.

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Community Loan Center

The Community Loan Center of the Heart of Texas (CLCHOT) is a nonprofit alternative to payday and auto-titles lenders. Housed at Goodwill Industries, the CLCHOT partners with local employers to make these low-cost loans available to employees through payroll deduction.

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Community-Centered Health Home

Family Health Center received a multi-year grant from Episcopal Health Foundation to implement a Community-Centered Health Home approach that includes working with multiple partner organizations to address community factors (such as access to healthy food and fitness opportunities) that impact patient health. For more information, please contact Paula Solano.

Healthy Waco Women

In partnership with the Prosper Waco Women’s Health Working Group and the Healthy Babies Coalition (HBC), this community-wide campaign will provide information and support to encourage women (especially younger women, ages 18 to 25) in our community to receive an annual well-woman exam. For more information, please contact Janet Jones.

HOPES Program

HOPES (Healthy Outcomes through Prevention and Early Support), is a multi-year state-funded program aimed at reducing child abuse and neglect by increasing community supports to parents of young children. The program is for caregivers of children ages 0-5 in McLennan County and designed to align parents and caregivers alike with the tools they need to strengthen their family’s well-being. The grant provides two additional staff to Waco ISD’s Parents as Teachers program and created a coalition of agencies serving parents and children who will meet regularly to identify strategies for preventing child abuse before it occurs by educating families and providing support services to those children and families that are at risk. The HOPES program helps to address the School Readiness goal of the initiative.

To learn more and see if you qualify to enroll, call 254-732-0482 or visit their website.

Junior League of Waco

Junior League of Waco (JLW) has adopted a focused concentration for the next 10 years on improving the education of children ages zero to three. JLW has multiple programs across the community ranging from Family Story Night and the Parent-Child Initiative (PACI), while also providing workshops for early childhood providers and funding collaborative projects aimed at improving early childhood education such as Reach Out & Read. The programs of JLW are part of the community’s efforts to improve School Readiness outcomes.

Contact JLW today to learn more about their programs by calling 254-753-5574.

Landlord Liaison Project

The Landlord Liaison Project facilitates coordination among landlords, tenants, and social service agencies to remove barriers to housing opportunities for low-income community members.

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Mayborn Museum Science Night

The Mayborn Museum is partnering with local elementary school campuses to provide evening access for students and their families to science activities that will increase student achievement and parent engagement in the learning process.

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Medical-Legal Partnership

Greater Waco Legal Services and Family Health Center are partnering to pilot a national model that trains healthcare providers to screen patients for legal needs that impact their health and refer them to attorneys for support.

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Mental Health Jail Diversion Program

The McLennan County District Attorney’s office has partnered with Heart of Texas MHMR and Tarleton State University to implement mental health screening for individuals involved with the criminal justice system. This widely used model allows individuals with mental health needs to receive appropriate care instead of prosecution for minor offenses.

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Mentor Waco Coalition

The Mentor Waco Coalition is a partnership of local organizations that offer mentoring programs. The coalition works to promote awareness of mentoring in the community, recruit mentors, provide high-quality training for those serving as mentors, and share data and best practices.

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Nurse-Family Partnership

Housed at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Hillcrest, Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is a free community healthcare program that provides pregnancy and parenting support to first-time mothers from nurses who visit their homes beginning in early pregnancy through the child’s second birthday. To get learn more, contact NFP by calling 254-202-1130.

The programs of NFP contribute to the School Readiness goal of the initiative.

Our Community. Our Future. (System of Care)

In Fall 2016, the Children/Youth subcommittee of the Behavioral Health Leadership Team, under the leadership of MHMR’s Klaras Center for Families, was awarded a multi-year federal “system of care” grant. In 2017, the coalition began providing school-based mental health services in multiple local schools districts. The grant also provides resources for youth peer supports, a children’s mental health respite facility, and other services to improve the mental health of children and youth in our community. For more information, contact Laurie Barnard.

Parents as Teachers

Parents as Teachers, housed at Waco ISD, is an evidence-based home visiting support model a parent education which serves mothers and fathers throughout pregnancy until their child enrolls in preschool at four years of age. This program contributes to the community’s efforts to address the School Readiness goal of the initiative.

To learn more about Parents as Teachers, call 254-755-9417.

Project Link

A multi-year project funded by the Rapoport Foundation that partners Waco ISD, La Vega ISD, MCC, and TSTC to serve a cohort over 1,000 local students and their families in charting a successful post-secondary journey through intense one-on-one college, career, and financial advising.

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Quick Response F.I.T. Trail System

With the help from the Live Well Waco Coalition and the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, the QR F.I.T. Trail System has launched, which is a new active lifestyle campaign in 11 parks throughout Waco.

In partnership with the Live Well Waco Coalition and the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, City of Waco Parks and Recreation installed the QR F.I.T. Trail System in 11 Waco parks. At F.I.T. Trail neighborhood parks, a series of signposts placed along the walking trails feature a QR code park visitors can scan to access free workout instructional videos.

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Reach Out & Read

Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based program that uses doctors and nurses to emphasize the importance of early literacy as part of a child’s development and to distribute books to parents as part of the well-child visit. Family Health Center currently implements Reach out and Read in twelve of its local clinics.

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Reintegration Program

This collaborative program, housed at MHMR, provides individualized support to people who are returning to the community from incarceration.

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Skillpoint Alliance- Gateway Program

The training programs are full-time and offer students hands-on experiential learning and soft skills education that prepares individuals to be successful on the job. Skillpoint focuses on recruiting individuals for training programs that often have barriers to employment, including those who have not completed a high school education.


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Start Up Waco

Start Up Waco will lead the creation of an “entrepreneurial ecosystem” that will connect entrepreneurs to support programs, mentors, and other entrepreneurs. Start Up Waco will launch the Hustle co-working and incubator space at 6th and Austin Avenue in 2018. Email Kevin Renois for questions, comments and to get connected.

Strong Kids Card – Doris Miller YMCA

The YMCA of Central Texas’ Strong Kids Card program is a summer enrichment program which focuses on youth development, social responsibility and healthy living for youth and teens ages 10-17 in the Waco community. The program requires each youth to complete eight hours of enrichment activities which range from volunteering opportunities, working out, hearing from speakers, and many others. In return, each youth receives a free Doris Miller YMCA membership. Programs like Strong Kids Card work to address the College & Career Success goal of the initiative.

To learn more, email Alex Prince, call 254-752-1605 ext. 206, or visit the Doris Miller YMCA (1020 Elm Ave.).

Summer Internship Program

Since 2016, the Prosper Waco backbone has partnered with Waco ISD to build and grow a summer internship program that matches rising seniors to paid internships with local employers in the industry relevant to each student’s career academy. As the program grows, students from other McLennan County school districts will participate.

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Teen Pregnancy Prevention Campaign

Waco Foundation has engaged the consulting firm 1000 Feathers to produce an in-depth report on teen pregnancy in McLennan County with recommendations to guide a coordinated community effort to provide education, healthcare access, and social support to local youth to reduce rates of teen pregnancy in Greater Waco.

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Multiple initiative partners actively promote the Vroom app (developed by the Bezos Family Foundation), which gives parents tools to prepare their child to enter school ready for success.

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Waco Employer Resource Network (WERN)

This network is comprised of local job training programs, social service agencies, staffing agencies and employers that collaborate to help job seekers find full-time jobs more quickly, provide support to individuals to maintain employment, and offer employers a central point of contact to access the services of local agencies to fill job openings and reduce turnover among entry-level employees. To get connected to WERN services, email Katy Schulz.

Waco Power Switch

The Waco Power Switch program gives McLennan County residents the opportunity to take advantage of Texas’ deregulated energy market to lower the rate they pay for electricity at home.

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Waco-McLennan County Library Literacy Kits

These Literacy Kits, funded by the Rotary Club of Waco, contain early literacy materials that parents can check out at the Waco-McLennan County Library to help their children learn to read and increase school readiness in our community.

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Workplace Wellness Scorecard

A framework for recognizing local employers who adopt policies that promote employee wellness through physical activity, healthy eating, and smoking cessation. The Scorecard is one example of a program implemented as part of our community’s Active Living, Health Eating Plan. For more information, please contact Janet Jones.