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How Generosity Has Inspired Kashmere Highschool To Be Great

Written by on February 24, 2023

Dozens of students scurred into a small room just to the right of Kashmere highschool’s cafeteria. Some spoke with their friends, laughing and enjoying one another, while others sat by themselves, observing the scene. Suddenly, the doors swung open, and their lives changed forever.

On Wednesday, Feb. 23, Howdy Ice Cream store owner Roderick Batson and Under Armour collaborated to provide the school’s athletic department with new equipment. The act of kindness this school has received, in the eyes of most students, was inspiring. 

Junior high school student and athlete Natavia Davis rushed over and opened up about how much this means for her and the aspiring athletes at Kashmere. 

“I just really want to say thank y’all so much for supporting my teammates and me,” Davis said. “It just really shows how thoughtful y’all are.” 

Her friend, junior high school student and athlete Tremaine Chopane, felt deeply impacted by their generosity as well and is more focused now than ever on his future dreams and goals. 

“Just push forward, don’t let nobody get in your way,” Chopane said. “[Don’t let them stop me from what I’m trying to do.] Just focus on the dream.” 

Head coach of Kashmere highschool’s varsity girl’s basketball team Kenric Harvey, who was also in attendance, does what he does every day for moments like this. 

It’s all about the kids,” Harvey said. “That’s why I’m in this profession. When these kids are happy and doing what they’re supposed to do, they’re being successful. I win.” 

Houston rapper and legend Lil Keke also chipped into the generosity of Wednesday’s special event by giving out gifts and wisdom to the young aspiring athletes. 

“Some of the experiences and things I get asked to do, I saw it before,” Keke said. “Going through it and raising children at the same time, it’s pretty easy for me to do it.

He briefly explained the reason behind his efforts to feed into the next generation and how it all stemmed from his own upbringing and life. 

“I went to inner city schools. We played sports, we didn’t always have the best career days, best role models, or best things around us. But it reminds me of a lot.”

Kashmere, like many HISD schools, has had to face the possibility of a state takeover, especially within the last couple of weeks. They have a low student performance grade by state standards and have faced a litany of controversies over the years. It’s why some individuals who helped bring this partnership together did what he did. 

Roderick Batson, the store owner of Howdy Ice Cream’s storefront in Katy, TX, has made a long-term commitment to looking after those judged and overlooked. 

For years, he’s used his platform as a store owner to give job opportunities to those suffering from mental disabilities and provide them with stability, comfort, and a place to call home. 

With his work at Kashmere for this special event, he felt that same sense of calling and commitment, fulfilled by the fact that he could give back to this particular school and its community. 

“I like to look out for the schools that a lot of people overlook,” Baston said. A lot of schools that don’t have carved-out budgets and stuff for athletic programs are the schools that we want to target.”  

Batson said he was  passionate about being there for those that need it the most. 

“Being from the Katy area but having a mother that worked in HISD for 30-something years, I would see the differences between KISD and HISD,” Harvey said. “They don’t have the funding that we have. I always vowed that if I was put into the position to give back, I would look out for the ones they overlooked.” 

The contributions by Howdy’s Homemade Ice Cream and Under Armour will have an immediate impact on Kashmere highschool. They’re in the thick of the athletic spring season and will continue their efforts of winning and inspiring their students.