HCISD receives $888,000 grant for mental health initiatives

The Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation awarded an $888,000 grant to Harlingen CISD.

This grant will help to provide students with resources and support for mental health wellness and student connectedness to students, staff, and our community.

“We are truly grateful to the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation for the unwavering dedication and support for our students,” Director of Guidance and Counseling Sylvia Gamboa said. “The grant will provide our district with programs and resources as we continue to spearhead our efforts in providing our students with pivotal and meaningful resources to support mental health.”

The grant funds will be utilized to purchase two programs – Hope Squad for secondary campuses and Capturing Kids’ Hearts for elementary campuses.

“These programs will implement transformational processes focused on relationship-driven campus culture and student connectedness,” Gamboa said.

Hope Squad is a school-based peer-to-peer suicide prevention program used to identify and assist students who are at risk. With the implementation of Hope Squad, team members will be provided with the tools and training necessary to assist in identifying students who may be at risk of suicide. Hope Squad team members are selected by student peers and will serve as a bridge between students and HCISD counselors and administration to ensure students in need are provided with resources and counseling.

Capturing Kids’ Hearts equips professionals in education to implement transformational processes focused on social-emotional wellbeing, relationship-driven campus culture, and student connectedness. Capturing Kids’ Hearts is a set of culture-shifting, sustainable processes that can be used in classrooms, during staff meetings, in athletic programs, in cafeterias, on school buses, and in homes. Through this program, elementary students will be provided with the foundation and tools necessary to embody and understand student wellness and character education.

“Our foundation recognizes that the need for mental services, particularly for our youth and particularly during COVID, has increased substantially,” Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation Executive Director Judy Quisenberry said. “We just want to reach in and help support the schools the best we can.”

To learn more about the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation, visit

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