Thelma Scott is the Founder & CEO for Barbara Jordan Endeavors Corporation (BJEC). The organization was founded December of 2000, In her research she discovered students with disabilities throughout school districts in Houston and the surrounding Gulf Coast area. Since then Mrs. Scott has dedicated her time and passion as an advocate and mentor to reduce the dropout and suicide rate for students with disabilities. Her desire is to help them to not be in denial, discover and refine their own personal disabilities (unique abilities).
Mrs. Scott’s first appointment as an advocate for people with disabilities was in 2004 by the Honorable Mayor Lee P. Brown. She was a member of the Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities in 2004 and she was reappointed in 2006 by Honorable Mayor Bill White, where she was the voice to create the first Mayor’s Youth Advocate Award which is awarded to a Youth with a Disability each year by the City of Houston. Mrs. Scott currently serves on The Governor’s RCT Advisory Council in Austin. She was the first African American woman with a disability to be appointed in 2008 by the Governor’s Office Rehabilitation Council for The State of Texas (RCT) that is established by the federal law to provide community input to vocational rehabilitation agencies in Texas. During Mrs. Scott’s tenure as a RCT Council Member for the State of Texas, she serves on various committees including the Planning and Review Committee, and the Advocacy and Education Committee. She also serves on the Black Heritage Society Board, Spring ISD Business and Community Advisory Committee, Spring Education Foundation Board, The Texas Rehabilitation Association Advocate Advisory Committee and travels to Washington DC to advocate for bills that affect people with disabilities. Other notable service includes the Mayor’s Office K-12 Advisory Committee & Marketing Advisory Committee. The last 19 years Mrs. Scott served on the Houston North West Chamber of Commerce Education Committee and now she serves on the Gulf Coast Diversity Council Education Advisory Committee.
In May 2012, Mrs. Scott and the Barbara Jordan Endeavors Corporation were nominated for Washington DC White House Champion of Change STEM Award for People with Disabilities Winning Futures Across America!
The year 2012 was an amazing year for Mrs. Scott and BJE. The Honorable Mayor Annise D. Parker presented Mrs. Scott with the Mayor’s Community Disability Advocate of the Year Awards 2012. In May 2012, Mrs. Scott was honored by Houston ISD for the HISD VIP Volunteer Award of the Year. Texas State Department of Assistive Rehabilitation Services (DARS). Stakeholders spotlighted Mrs. Scott and the Barbara Jordan Endeavor Corporation for Black History month keeping Barbara Jordan’s Legacy alive in February 2012. May 2012, the Rotary 5890 District International highlighted Mrs. Scott and Barbara Jordan for their dedication to community outreach to people with disabilities including raising funds for Polio Plus. The State Texas Council Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) highlighted the Barbara Jordan Endeavors Program in their 2012 State Plan Newsletter, as well..
Barbara Jordan Endeavors Corporation was awarded the Community Outreach Partnership Award in 2013 by Houston HISD. Each Year the district recognizes an educational partnership involving a nonprofit or for-profit organization that has had a positive impact on student achievement. On August 1, 2012, the Barbara Jordan Endeavors Corporation was awarded a Development Outreach Grant by TCDD to present nine workshops for students with unique abilities and their parents throughout Houston and its surrounding areas.
Mrs. Scott is unstoppable when it comes to reaping the benefits of her labor. She has also received awards Nationally, State and Locally. Here is a record of honors, tributes and awards she has earned the last 14 years as the Founder & CEO for the Barbara Jordan Endeavors Corporation:
Mrs. Scott, was nominated by Michelle Obama for the Prestige United State of Woman Award 2016
Women of Now Rising Higher Award for Women’s History Month Award – March 7, 2016
Top 50 Black Professionals & Entrepreneurs Community Hero February 28, 2016
Texas Diversity First Leadership Award, the first African American woman to receive this award
WSN Community Outreach Advocate of the Year Award 2015
TRA Justin Dart (ADA) Advocate of the Year Award 2015, only one person in Texas is honored with this award
Texas GFSC Self-Advocate of the Year Award 2015, only one person in Texas is honored with this award
Top 30 Influential Women of Houston 2014
Super Lady Soiree Honoree Houston 2014
TWEF Woman of Worth Award Presented by Stedman Graham 2013
Parents, Teachers and Students Association Community Support Award – 2013
Rotary District 5890 Spotlight Award 2013
White Cane Day Appreciation Award 2012
No More Victims Outstanding Community Award 2012
VIP Community Partnership Award from HISD (2011 & 2013)
Black History Month 2013 DARS Stakeholder Spotlighted (BJE) 2013
Women of AT&T Award – 2012
Dedication Generosity Award – Council Member Andrew Burks 2012
Mayor Community Disability Advocate of the Year Award 2012
PWI Woman Legacy Award (2012)
GCCD 2009 Woman of the Year Award 2012
LPCDC Community Partner’s Award 2011
Adopt a Ditch Keep Houston Beautiful Award 2010
Mrs. Scott has been featured in many amazing TV interviews on Channel 2, Channel 11, Channel 13 and Fox 26 News for her Advocacy work, dedication and determination to provide scholarships to students with disabilities and give support to their parents. There is also a video testimony about her efforts presented by Lakewood Church where she is an active member. Other videos are as follows:
- Channel 2 News featured Mrs. Scott’s testimony in the New York Night of Hope
- Channel 13 News – Cross Roads interview with Melanie Lawson
- Channel 13 News – Walk, Run & Roll Kick Off interview with Tom Abraham
- Channel 13 News – BJE Program interview with Elissa Rivas
- Fox 26 News – BJE Program interview with Sally McDonald
- Channel 11 News – Great Day Houston Interview with Debra Duncan
- Channel 13 News – Barbara Jordan HS & BJE Award Ceremony with Tom Abraham
Mrs. Scott has also been feature in many Newspaper Articles during her 14 years as BJE’s Founder & CEO. She was so honored when her dedicated hometown, Diboll & Lufkin, Texas featured her in two news articles when the BJE organization was nominated for the President’s White House Prestige’s Award.
- Houston Style Magazine Article – Breast Cancer Survivor Creates 5K Walk, Run & Roll-2013
- Cypress Creek Mirror News Article – Barbara Jordan Endeavors program expanding – 2013
- d- Mars Community Journal – 5k Walk, Run & Roll Kick Off River Oaks Metro Center – 2013
- The Diboll Free Press – Scott Honored: “Endeavors” as Champion of Change Award – 2012
- The Bright Star, Lufkin News- Diboll Native Nominated for White House STEM Award – 2012
- d- Mars Business Journal – Mrs. Scott as a Disability Advocate -2012
- Houston Chronicle News Article – Programs helps teens work toward future goals -2012
- Houston Chronicle News Article – Making a Difference for People with Disabilities – 2008
- 1960 Sun Klein News Article – Endeavors Program Empowers Students with Disabilities – 2005
- The Ebony Voice News Article – Endeavors Scholarship Awards Luncheon – 2004
- Houston Chronicle News Article – She Endeavors To Help Others – 2004
- 1960 Sun News Article, New Chamber Committee Takes Cause for People with Disabilities 2004
- 1960 Sun News Article – Making some shade for Westfield High School – 2004
- The Leader News Article – Providing the first BJE Scholarship to a NHC Student -2002
- Houston Chronicle – Against All Odds North Harris College – 2000
Most of all, Mrs. Scott has overcome her own health scares and coming through the most devastating incident to ever happen to her; (the death of her beloved husband, partner & best friend for 41 years, Otis Scott Sr. in 2008). Mr. Scott, the person who influenced her most in life and all that she is today is because her husband loved her unconditionally through it all and never let her fail in anything as a woman with a “Unique Ability”.
Mrs. Rose Mary McGowen, the sister of the late Barbara Jordan has also been an inspiration in the life of Mrs. Scott as a close friend. Today, Mrs. McGowen continues to be the number one supporter of the Barbara Jordan Endeavors Corporation program.
Mrs. Scott is the proud mother of five beautiful children and nine wonderful grandchildren. Her first career was in Law Enforcement working for the Diboll Police Dept. for ten and half years as a Communication Officer Supervisor. She attended Kilgore College, Stephen F. Austin State University, Lamar University, and Angelina College in Law Enforcement. Mrs. Scott also attended North Harris Long Star College in Marketing and became a news article success story at North Harris College as a 52 year old woman with a disability receiving a 4.0 GPA.
In 1997 Mrs. Thelma Scott headed a very important project for renaming of a Diboll Street in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther, Jr. Mill Street was chosen for renaming and dedication will take place in the near future.
Mrs. Scott was featured in the movie “Pound of Flesh” with the Street Corner Films which debuted August 23, 2014. Mrs. Scott has also been appointed by Khem DenChukwm, Producer and Mr. Don Okolo, Director as Associated Producer for Street Corner Films. She will also be featured in the film “Temp to Fire” with The Davito Family Film that debuted in November 2014.
Mrs. Scott is branded as a “giver” and always quotes Barbara Jordan as saying “It is clear to me. We as human begins, must be willing to accept people who are different from ourselves”. Thelma Scott’s magnetic personality and unbridled determination has positioned her to impact more lives that can be counted. She fervently believes that when people with disabilities are given an opportunity “a disability is the opportunity to demonstrate extraordinary “unique abilities.”