Please click this button to donate a gift via PayPal


Or you may send a check to:
PO Box 6158
Austin, TX 78762-6158


This past Christmas, CapCityKids was privileged to host a holiday party and screening of the great new Christmas movie, "Angels Sing"

Many of you joined our board and writer/actor Turk Pipkin for a wonderful evening at the Violet Crown Cinema that helped provide a joyful Christmas for homeless kids in Austin.

Filmed in Austin, "Angels Sing" stars Harry Connick, Jr., Connie Britton, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson.

A joyful story about finding the courage to believe in Christmas and family, The Washington Post calls the film an, "An Ode to Christmas Cheer!"

CapCityKids' Kate Amerson: Social Worker of the Year

Kate Amerson, a social worker who supervises a team of graduate school interns within the Austin Independent School District, was named the Texas Social Work Field Instructor of the Year by a consortium of 54 university social work programs for her work on behalf of homeless and at-risk students.

Amerson oversees an innovative collaboration between the Austin Independent School District, the University of Texas School of Social Work and CapCityKids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping homeless students receive a quality education.

The Texas Field Educators’ Consortium awarded Amerson with the Social Work Field Instructor of the Year award in September at the National Association of Social Workers Texas Annual Conference in Houston. Since 1997, the Texas Field Educators’ Consortium has given the statewide award to field instructors to “recognize excellence in the true stars of social work field education."

“Kate was chosen because of her outstanding leadership in the CapCityKids program and her service in mentoring of social work interns,” said Karen Knox, field coordinator instructor at Texas State University’s Social of Social Work and a member of the committee that chose Amerson for the award.



Amerson oversees the work of seven to 11 social work graduate field interns each semester who provide direct services to more than 140 children and families at more than a dozen AISD campuses. All told, the program has provided direct counseling services to more than 1,500 students in the last three years. Each intern has a caseload of students with whom they meet regularly in one-on-one and group sessions. Amerson and the interns identify common obstacles these schoolchildren face, including transience, special education needs, issues with behavior, grief and loss, incarceration of parents, substance abuse and mental health.

“Kate is a master field instructor and the CapCityKids program is a testimony to that since it would not exist had Kate not proved herself capable,” said Tanya Voss, assistant dean of field education for the UT School of Social Work, who nominated Amerson for the award.

In the fall of 2009, CapCityKids funded the pilot Social Work Internship Program through Project HELP (Homeless Education and Learning Program). Project HELP assists students in temporary living situations to enroll, participate and succeed in school by providing basic needs, academic services and connecting students and their families to community support services.

The need for services provided by Amerson and social work interns has grown sharply in recent years. AISD reported the number of students identified as homeless increased 15 percent to 1,975 in the 2011-2012 school year, compared with 1,709 the previous year. Schoolchildren who are homeless face barriers to education that remain largely unnoticed by the general public. At many school campuses there is an unmet need for additional counseling and social work services for homeless and at-risk students, said Cathy Requejo, homeless liaison and supervisor of Project HELP.

Research shows that school children often best respond when working with young people, and the internship program has helped improve the performance of many of district’s homeless students, said Gloria Williams, executive director of AISD’s Department of School, Family and Community Education. The program helps build the self-esteem, behavior, attendance and motivation of students who are identified as homeless, Williams said.

“We’re just ecstatic about Kate winning this award. It’s very deserved,” Williams said. “Her ability to recruit master’s-level graduate students and to train them to work with homeless students in our district really makes a difference. There is no price you can put on that.”

CapCityKids Board Member Joslyn Dobson said, “Kate Amerson has helped CapCityKids build an outstanding partnership with AISD and the UT School of Social Work. This is a natural extension of our philosophy to link with existing programs to enhance the services directly reaching kids and their families. All the information to-date indicates that the program is producing very positive results, and we will be looking for ways to improve and expand the Social Work Internship Program.”

About Capital City Kids

CapitalCityKids (or The Capital City Fund for Education) is an Austin-based nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2005 to help children who are facing homelessness obtain a quality education. CapCityKids provides direct resources to assist at-risk students stay in school, including partnering with AISD’s Project HELP (Homeless Education and Learning Program) and providing after-school tutoring to schoolchildren in homeless shelters. CapCityKids is an all-volunteer organization, and 100 percent of tax-deductible donations made to CapCityKids go directly to help students facing homelessness. For more information, see

Media Contacts

Steve Gorman, board member of CapCityKids, (512) 342-3005

Cathy Requejo, supervisor and homeless liaison, Project HELP, (512) 414-0760

Kate Amerson, AISD social work intern specialist, (512) 841-0210