Momentous Institute’s 5th annual Changing the Odds Conference kicked off this year with the Changing the Odds Dinner at Sixty Five Hundred on Oct. 5, where University Park residents Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones were honored with the first-ever Changing the Odds Leadership Award in recognition of their significant contributions to the health and wellbeing of children in the community.
Trevor Rees-Jones, a UP native and graduate of Highland Park High School, founded the Rees-Jones Foundation with his wife Jan in 2006 to work with nonprofits across North Texas to defend children who have suffered abuse or neglect or face mental health challenges. The foundation’s work with Momentous, a lab school in Oak Cliff run by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas that focuses on students’ social emotional health, has included $350,000 of funds raised for mental health services and training to provide for children and families.
At the dinner, Momentous executive director Michelle Kinder emphasized the need for social emotional health in the wake of the recent shootings in Dallas.
“Momentous Institute is about showing up in the lives of children so that the next Mayor Rawlings and Chief Brown can emerge. Every person we work with represents a complex story, and a sacred opportunity for kindness, compassion, and the expectation of momentous outcomes,” Kinder said.
The Changing the Odds Conference brings more than 1,600 mental health and education professionals from all over the world together to hear best practices in social emotional health.