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Austin's History

How It All Started in Austin


With our first introduction to the Friends of the Children (FOTC) program, we became committed to bringing it to life in Austin, Texas. Rarely, if ever, have we seen a program with common sense principles that executes so consistently and powerfully to change lives in a sustainable and measurable way. We knew immediately that Friends of the Children would have a distinct and compelling fit with the needs of our community.

We are devoted to launching an efficient and effective school-based program that scales to reach those in our community who need it most: our underserved —and often overlooked — children. We are equally committed to bringing the gift of a professional mentor to the Texas foster care system in the coming years.

The launch of Friends Austin has been a community-wide effort, having raised over $1.7 million from 50 individuals, families, businesses, and a foundation in a three month period. We were also awarded a generous national grant from the Social Innovation Fund to support our first three years of operation. With this seed money, we will bring Friends of the Children to over 200 children over the next five years. Our vision is to add a second program dedicated to youth from the foster care system, increasing the total youth served in the same five-year period to 312.

We look forward to sharing the mission and vision of Friends with you, and helping so many incredible young children break the cycle of poverty.


Rachel Arnold & Nancy Pollard Co-Founders & Champions