American Rising Stars, Inc. was originally formed as Texas Hoops Basketball Camps, Inc. and operated in Texas for 15 years. Texas Hoops served communities throughout the state of Texas with its state of the art basketball camps teaching discipline and character building.
Rising Stars in Houston was formed in July of 2005 and was later incorporated into American Rising Stars, Inc. ARSI has operated in several Texas Independent School Districts including Houston ISD, Alief ISD, Aldine ISD, and Goose Creek ISD, administering programs which include after school sports camps, fencing, photography, journalism, and drumming. Many of the teachers and coaches who work in the program are dedicated educators in their respective fields.
About Our Founder
Mr. James Gill, President and Chief Operating Officer of American Rising Stars, Inc. is a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Mr. Gill has a degree in Marketing and has over 20 years of work experience in the areas of sales and marketing.
Prior to becoming President of American Rising Stars, Inc. Mr. Gill served as a teacher with the Houston Independent School District as well as an instructor in the Alief and Cypress Independent School Districts. He was instrumental in a 100% passing rate for TAAS (currently the TAKS) testing among youth at risk while in his HISD position.
In addition to American Rising Stars, Inc., Mr. Gill is also involved in many community activities. He is the President of Texas Hoops Basketball Camps, Inc. and also served as the Houston Area Director for National Youth Sports, which provided services for over 800 youth in and around the Houston Metropolitan area. Mr. Gill is also a member of the NAA (National After-School Association), the TAA (Texas After-School Association ) and was elected a local Board Member of of SETAA (Southeast Texas After-School Association.)
Why After-School Programs?
After-School hours are a critical time for youth. These hours represent either an opportunity to learn and grow through quality after-school programs, or a time of risk to a youth’s health and safety.
The after-school hours are the peak time for juvenile crime and risky behavior such as alcohol and drug use. Most experts agree that after-school programs offer a healthy and positive alternative. These programs help keep children safe, improve academic achievement, help relieve the stresses on today‘s working families, and serve as important youth violence prevention and intervention strategies.
Most youth do not have access to after-school programs. Every day, at least eight million children and youth are left alone and unsupervised once school is dismissed. While ninety percent of Americans think that all youth should have access to after-school programs, two-thirds say it is difficult to find programs locally. With more and more children growing up in homes with two working parents or a single working parent, today’s families can benefit from the safe, structured learning opportunities that after-school programs provide.
What Makes A Good Program?
A recent policy report written by Columbia University psychologists Jodie Roth, PhD. and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, PhD. concluded that good After-School Programs “are best characterized by their approach to youth as resources to be developed, rather than as problems to be managed.” According to the report, “What Do Adolescents Need for Healthy Development? Implications for Youth Policy,” good programs should:
· Help young people develop strong, positive relationships with adults
· Build on the young person’s strengths, rather than focus on his or her weaknesses.
· Provide an enriching environment that helps young people develop positive relationships with peers
· Give youth opportunities to develop leadership and decision-making skills
· Focus on the developmental needs of young people by nurturing teens’ autonomy at the same time the programs lend guidance
· Provide all of these opportunities over the long term development of the child.