The XY-Zone Project of Communities In Schools of Central Texas (CIS) is a leadership development and peer support program that develops productive life skills in high school-age, at-risk males.  Recent studies have shown that there is a growing educational achievement gap between males and females with boys falling behind girls in the education system. The disparity is even greater for African-American and Hispanic young men.

The mission of the XY-Zone is to support and guide adolescent males as they journey into manhood, helping them to succeed in school and prepare for life. XY-Zone staff designs the program to meet the individual needs of teen males at each campus, while ensuring that participants are part of a positive “brotherhood” that works to build character and leadership.  The goals of the XY-Zone are that participants will:

•    Students will transform their lives by instilling the five “pillars” – Respect, Responsibility, Relationships, Role Modeling, and Reaching Out – all values that support the transition of at-risk young men into positive community leaders.
•    Students will remain in school and improve grades, attendance or behavior.
•    Students will be empowered to focus on their futures, prepare for higher education and/or long-term employment, and break the cycle of poverty.
•    Students will become leaders, advocating for non-violence, respect towards women, and peaceful communities.

The effectiveness of the XY-Zone Program achieved national attention when featured in Leonard Pitts' syndicated column as part of his "What Works" series. Pitts' column was followed by stories on NPR's Talk of the Nation and KUT's In Black America.

Recently the XY-Zone was featured in a report (The Educational Experience of Young Men of Color: A Review of Research, Pathways and Progress) during a Congressional hearing on Capitol Hill by the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center as models of progress at meeting the needs of hard to reach young men. Communities In Schools of Central Texas was recognized as an organization that demonstrates a substantive commitment to access and equity for young men of color, and have played a critical role in improving the lives and educational experience for the students Communities In Schools serves.

The Educational Experience of Young Men of Color: A Review of Research, Pathways and Progress (report) (.pdf/2.9MB)

The project is currently housed on ten Central Texas campuses: Eastside Memorial High School, LBJ High School, Lanier High School, Crockett High School, Reagan High School, Travis High School, Lehman High School Bastrop High School, Manor High School and Hays High School.

Current funders for this program include: St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities, RGK Foundation, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Kathryn and Beau Ross Foundation, Topfer Family Foundation, The Long Foundation, Impact Austin, Najim Foundation, and Housing Authority of the City of Austin.

The Men of Honor giving circle supports XY-Zone.  To learn more about the Men of Honor or to become a Man of Honor click here.

For more information, please contact Robert Bachicha, XY-Zone Coordinator, at (512) 464-9730 or e-mail xyzone@ciscentraltexas.org

design by SicolaMartin (c) 2005 | photographs by John Langford |contact webmaster | staff login