By: Courtney Riley, M.A.

“Thunk,” a sound often heard when an arrow hits the coveted bullseye in the sport of archery. A sound often heard by John Henry Smith. A sound that is  now creating a legacy which develops a love for archery and education to youth in the Acres Home and Houston community. Archery is the practice of using a bow to shoot arrows at an inanimate target or when hunting. John Henry Smith has set out to leave a captivating imprint on the world, one person, one mark, one arrow at a time.

John Henry Smith was raised in the Acres Home area and attended Houston ISD schools including P. H. Holden and Booker T. Washington Junior and Senior High School. Smith committed his life to serving the Greater Houston area as a Senior Law Enforcement Officer for 29 years. Smith was an alumnus that created a strong legacy from his involvement in P. H. Holden and Booker T. Washington Junior and Senior High School’s rich history. Smith’s daughter, Lauren Smith Harris, eagerly described her father’s life as “exemplary and remarkable, in the sense that, his story was unique, richly filled with purpose all throughout. A legacy in the making, some may say.” Harris made sure the world knew her father’s legacy would continue by creating the John Henry Smith Foundation.

The John Henry Smith Foundation (JHSF) was started to honor John Henry Smith and his passion for education, archery and shooting sports. The foundation is committed to empowering the next generation of minority youth towards greatness through archery, education, and shooting sports. The JHSF, created by his daughter Lauren, seeks to continuously carry out the mission of the foundation through what Harris mentions as societal progression. “One of our many goals is to ensure solid student foundations are cemented in character building, compassion, education, and sportsmanship, all of which are core values John Henry stood upon his entire life, personally and professionally,” Harris mentioned. John Henry Smith competed for over 30 years in archery competitions around the nation, often being the only African American on the roster.

The JHSF held a memorial and Foundation Launch on March 26th, 2022. The celebration was attended by members of Booker T. Washington community, past and present, the Houston Police Department and Houston area elected officials who inspired attendees with discussions of the commitment John Henry Smith and the foundation would bring to the Houston area. Houston Chief of Police Troy Finner mentioned the commitment John Henry Smith made to the city through displays of integrity for others to model. Booker T. Washington Principal, Dr. Carlos Phillips, II focused his remarks on the powerful partnership of the school and foundation will bring academic and outdoor experiences that will shift the lives of the students involved. Council Member Edward Pollard of District J made attendees recognize the importance of impact you can feel and see, urging people to impact to change student trajectories. While students participated in a live archery demonstration, Houston ISD Director of Physical Education, Felica Ceaser-White, communicated the purpose and mission of the archery program, impact the program is making on student lives, and how contributions will support program efforts.

Since the John Henry Smith Foundation is designated as a nonprofit organization, monetary contributions, partnerships, and volunteering opportunities are always being sought after. Scholarships and sports training sponsorships are being offered through the JHSF commitment to their 4 core values: Character Building, Compassion, Education, and Sportsmanship. The John Henry Foundation seeks to not only support minority students academically but curate a love for the unique sports their foundation offers training for including shooting and archery. Please visit, www.jhsfoundation.org for more information on the foundation and the incredible life of John Henry Smith.

John Henry Smith accomplished an immeasurable amount of impact in his 69 years of life. Harris continued to describe her father as a “God-fearing man who made his obligation in life to create and add value to all he encountered.” His life will continue to be celebrated, and his legacy will forever make impact within the community, in the nation, and around the world. John Henry Smith. The Man. The Myth. The Legend.

 

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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