The Institute for Careers and Leadership Development (ICLD)'s vision is to ensure high school graduates are college and career ready, college graduates are connected to lucrative careers, and individuals with barriers can transition to becoming contributing members of society both, socially and economically, by utilizing STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts, and Mathematics) as trajectories to their future.
This means that these individuals will be equipped with a Goal (the knowledge of their destination); a Plan (strategy for getting to their destination); Alternatives (ability to make a paradigm shift when life happens)—Thus, creating the Career GPA.©
The mission of ICLD is to be a conduit of positive affirmation and support to disenfranchised and at-risk youth and adults by endowing them with empowerment, self-awareness, branding, educational readiness, higher educational fulfillment, and resource education through the concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
HISTORY OF THE ORGANIZATION
The Institute for Careers and Leadership Development (ICLD), a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization, was established in 1998 to provide educational, career and leadership development for “Non-Custodial Parents”. In 2000, the focus expanded to include elementary and secondary aged students. Further expansion of the program materialized in 2007 with the inception of Employment Services of Texas (EST). Through this initiative, job development, job coaching and employment services are offered to include people with disabilities, criminal backgrounds, and those reintegrating into the workforce. As the result, EST partnered with the Division of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and Social Security Administration’s “Ticket-to-Work” Programs. Over the past 8 years, the organization has been successful in assisting over 85% of this population find gainful employment, with nearly a 60% job retention rate among this group.
Commissioned in 2009 by a local university, ICLD submitted a proposal to provide career development for college athletes. This request led to review of statistics on the needs of this population. However, prior to implementation of this service, the university’s request shifted from career development to cognitive testing. Also in 2009, ICLD began re-structuring in order to expand its services in college and career readiness for at-risk populations in Houston. This targeted population now includes adults, athletes, high school drop outs, and students with in or out of school suspensions. However, to be able to solicit the funds needed to support this population, ICLD re-applied and was granted the appropriate IRS 501(c)3 status designation in 2010.
In February 2013 (during NBA All Star Week), ICLD partnered with several organizations (Houston Community College, Game Changerz, Inc.; Best Assets, Syren Music Group, Events & Occasions) to host the first College, Career and Empowerment Program. Invitations to Houston and Fort Bend ISD Schools brought over 500 students to this event. Houston Community College served as the host sight. Over 11 professionals, including Howard White, Vice-President Nike, Jordan Brand; Certified School Psychologist, Dr. Umar Johnson; along with professionals in medicine, law, sports, and entertainment served on the panel.