• Brandon Hawkins,


    High School

  • Photo of Brandon


    Brandon is a senior at Travis High School, where he is one of the Campus Ambassadors to the district-wide Student Voices cohort and a member of the National Honors Society. Throughout his high school career, Brandon has been recognized as a National Merit Finalist, a National Hispanic Scholar, and an AP Scholar with Distinction. During his mentorship with Children At Risk, Brandon was involved with advocating for policy changes in the Texas legislature. He was able to learn more about the legislative process and see first-hand the workings behind what it takes to pass a bill, including going to the state Capitol and testifying before a committee. In the fall, Brandon plans to begin his undergraduate studies with a major in biochemistry and a minor in public policy.

    Strive for progress, not for perfection.

  • Mentors

    Mandi Kimball

    Gretchen Himsl

    Caroline Roberts


    Children at risk logo


    Children At Risk is a non-partisan research and advocacy organization dedicated to addressing the root causes of poor public policies affecting children. The organization began in the fall of 1989 when a group of child advocates met to discuss the lack of data on the status of children and the absence of strong public policy support for Houston’s children. CHILDREN AT RISK has grown to become a statewide organization impacting all children in Texas, speaking out and driving change for Texas’ most vulnerable youth for over 30 years.


    Project Abstract


    Out of all the issues faced by Texans, few are as widespread and impactful as the failed healthcare system in our state. Specifically, looking at the alarming rates of uninsured people and the worrying health statistics of our citizens beg the question of what is being done to address this issue. While some efforts are currently underway at the state level to improve the lives of Texans, these pieces of legislation are insufficient. By looking at what is currently working in other states and improvement opportunities that the state government has failed to act upon, this study identifies what Texas must do to be on par with the rest of the nation. If Texas were to extend and expand Medicaid coverage, as well as accept federal expansion of Medicaid, there would be a decrease in uninsured rates, a reduction in the outflow of Texans’ tax dollars, and improved health statistics among our population.