James Hong and Jaron K. Barganier (photo by Stephanie De Alba)

WHEN TWO FORMER UH football players put their helmets together to form a plan to impact under-privileged youth through sports, education and nutrition programs, neither expected to be where they are today. Jaron K. Barganier and James Hong are co-founders of Be A Champion, Inc., a nonprofit organization that aims to set children on a path to success. Today, Texas students are returning to the classrooms, and with House Bill 4545 in effect, Be A Champion staff are once again suiting up to keep students fed and education institutions supported.

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Sabrina Roesler

SUGAR LAND FOURTH grader Sabrina Roesler lost her father when she was 6. "My dad had brain cancer and we really wanted him to get better, but they didn't have a cure," says the now 9-year-old. Even at such a young age, Roesler felt called to turn her situation into something positive — to make lemonade, if you will. After years of practice with plastic playsets and toy lemonade stands, Roesler started a real-life business called Fresh'n Juicy, and decided to donate 10 percent of all sales to the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation, a Houston brain-cancer-research organization. "It feels like something I have to do, because I loved my dad so much, and I want others to have a second chance if they get diagnosed."

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Project Row Houses

HOUSTON IS A city that loves to give back. And Houston Endowment — a private foundation that partners with others in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors to improve quality of life for the residents of greater Houston — has just awarded a whopping $20 million to 55 local organizations that are making progress in achieving racial equity and social justice on the local level.

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