Pasos For Oak Cliff
Location: Dallas, TX
Date Founded: 2020
Contact Name: Jesse Acosta
9dc Give Amount: $750
July 26, 2022
Pasos for Oak Cliff was founded by Jesse Acosta a high school teacher, and Alejandra Zendejas, a math tutor. They both consider themselves sneaker enthusiasts, also known as sneaker heads!
Growing up, Jesse's parents could only afford to buy him one pair of shoes per year. Alejandra's parents would sometimes buy her one pair of shoes for her and her sister to share. "Growing up I never had the newest or best shoes, so now that I can afford what I like, I buy myself all the shoes I can." (Jesse)
The 9dollarclub had the chance to talk with Jesse Acosta who also works as a history teacher working in Dallas, Texas. When Jesse spotted one of his students wearing a pair of sneakers with the soles peeling off, his two worlds collided to create Pasos for Oak Cliff. Having noticed a correlation between low quality shoes and an increased likeliness to be bullied, sit in the back of the classroom, or receive lower grades, Jesse knew he had to step in and make an impact on his students, especially as the community struggled with COVID-related difficulties. What originally started as a fundraiser has since turned into a much larger project: a non-profit organization that has donated close to 2,000 pairs of shoes to children in need since 2020.
Jesse and Alejandra have built Pasos for Oak Cliff as education-based organization that improves the lives of students in need beyond just donating shoes. They offer scholarship opportunities, a four year mentorship initiative to assist students through graduation, and a variety of summer programs. One example is their Pasos All Star Program, a four week opportunity for upcoming 9th graders to design their own sneakers, interact with other student innovators, and improve literacy and math skills.
What is the 9dollarclub doing to help?
Currently, Pasos for Oak Cliff is holding an active fundraiser for their 500 shoe drive in Dallas. On July 30, hundreds of pre-registered families will attend the drive and receive a brand new pair of sneakers. Jesse and his team make sure that each pair of sneakers is being delivered into the right hands, taking careful precautions to ensure nobody takes advantage of the handouts.
The 9dollarclub is supporting the drive through our July give, donating roughly 35 pairs of brand new sneakers!
A brand new pair of sneakers opens a world of opportunity for a student, giving them a sense of self-confidence inside and outside of the classroom. We are excited to help make an impact on students in Texas, empowering them to achieve goals and invest in learning opportunities that enhance their education.