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CITGO, Harris County Sheriff's Office Collaborate To Boost Houston High School Attendance

Students at Alief, Houston and Spring Branch Independent School Districts to Receive 60 Kindle Fire Tablets

HOUSTON, Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CITGO Petroleum Corporation and the Harris County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) today announced the launch of their "Kindling Young Minds" program aimed at boosting attendance at six Houston high schools. CITGO and the Sheriff's office identified schools in the Alief, Houston and Spring Branch Independent School Districts (ISD) to receive a total of 60 Kindle Fire tablets this school year.


"We support academic achievement because we know the choices that students make today will affect their success once they leave high school and help define their futures. Those decisions also impact the contributions they make in their communities and at their jobs," said HD Chambers, Superintendent of Alief ISD. "When students miss school, it leads to higher dropout rates and a decreasing likelihood of pursuing higher education which can cause a negative ripple effect. When schools, corporations like CITGO and community organizations like the Sheriff's Office can come together to combat chronic absenteeism, it is a great way to invest in our youth."

Each ISD has identified two schools that experience high absenteeism to benefit from the inaugural program:

  • Elsik High School and Hastings High School, Alief ISD
  • Madison High School and Worthington High School, Houston ISD
  • Northbrook High School and Spring Woods High School, Spring Branch ISD

The district schools will identify students who have demonstrated either perfect or improved attendance for the semester. From that group, five students will be randomly selected from each school per semester to receive a Kindle Fire tablet. A total of 60 tablets will be distributed among the six participating schools. The first recipients will be recognized before the Christmas holiday break. The second semester winners will be announced in early April.

"In a county the size of Harris County, we depend on community partnerships and the generosity of corporations like CITGO to help reach out to our community at large," said Sheriff Adrian Garcia. "We welcome the opportunity for businesses and organizations alike to partner with us to help empower our students to do well in school. This program aims to remind students of an important message: every day counts."

The "Kindling Young Minds" Program is just one of the ways CITGO gives back to the communities in which it operates.

"At CITGO, we believe that as a member of this community we must share the responsibility to improve the quality of life of its residents. We are proud of this initiative and the positive impact it will have in the education of our youth in the city we call home," said Nelson P. Martínez, CITGO president and CEO.

CITGO supports educational and social initiatives that create meaningful impact while addressing some of today's most difficult societal challenges. On average, the percentage of revenue CITGO invests in social programs has been five times more than that of many larger, vertically-integrated competing global brands. This investment helps CITGO ease the burden of many families across the country through programs such as the CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program, CITGO-Venezuela Energy Efficient Lighting Program, its Fueling Education campaign, the 27-year long support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and many others. In addition, CITGO employees and those at nearly 6,000 local independently owned and operated CITGO branded stations provide thousands of volunteer hours and millions of dollars to help organizations in their own communities.

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter, and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information visit


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