“By putting this technology into the hands of kids, Halliburton and PBMA have directly influenced their education.”
Dr. J.A. Rob, Jr. founded the Positive Black Male Association (PBMA) to empower youth through leadership and character education. He works to develop tomorrow’s leaders today because he wants to help others who grow up in his similar situation – in an impoverished neighborhood with a single parent who struggled with addiction. Dr. Rob started taking care of his three siblings when he was seven years old; it was at this young age where he learned the benefits of mentoring. He thrived in the school environment where his teachers were his role models. During a visit to the Alabama State University campus in high school, he discovered he wanted to go to college the moment he sat down in a classroom. With the help of mentors and teachers, he enrolled in college while still responsible for his mother and siblings’ care. Throughout college, he watched his childhood friends and family go to jail and join gangs. He saw the endless possibilities from a college education and sought to help others escape their troubled lives. This is where his dream of building a premier youth mentoring organization began.
In November 2000, Dr. Rob started PBMA with 17 boys in Houston’s historic, inner city Third Ward. The mentoring program began in a small church for boys from single-parent homes and homes with incarcerated or absentee parents. PBMA now serves over 6,000 children, both boys and girls, with outreach in public schools, community centers and churches.
PBMA expanded to provide leadership development classes, support academic success and college readiness, host college tours and camps, teach health and physical wellness, and award scholarships. Their members meet after school and on the weekends, and often guests speak on various professions. PBMA has a 100% college acceptance rate for graduating seniors.
For more than two years, Halliburton has supported PBMA in various ways:
- Employees provide personal donations to the PBMA Scholarship Fund. The Halliburton Foundation matches donations over two-fold, and 100% of the funds go to college scholarships for high school seniors.
- In 2019, the Halliburton Charitable Foundation granted support for the ongoing sustainability of PBMA’s programs.
- Employees also serve as guest speakers in the weekly PBMA mentoring and leadership series.
- Most recently, Halliburton provided PBMA with 60 laptop computers to distribute to students who would otherwise not be able to begin their school year virtually.
“By putting this technology into the hands of kids, Halliburton and PBMA have directly influenced their education. This has helped PBMA motivate children and their families to continue their schooling and is teaching children how to adjust to change,” Dr. Rob said about the recent laptop donation. When schools cut in-person classes earlier this year, many families were forced to learn how to use technology to continue their child’s education at home. “If we did not give them these computers, they would not have been able to start school this year. Thank you, Halliburton – you are making a difference in these kids’ lives!”
Want to get involved with Positive Black Male Association? Here are some ways to support this worthwhile organization: