Firm co-founder and president Russell Budd and his wife Dorothy Budd have a dedicated history of giving back to the community on a personal as well as a professional level. In particular, the Budds have a long history working with non-profit organizations in West Dallas, an area with a high at-risk population. In particular, they have supported Habitat for Humanity and the Dallas Faith Communities Coalition (DFCC), both organizations that serve vital roles in the West Dallas area.
Having extensively worked in West Dallas, the Budds felt that more needed to be done to not just meet immediate needs, but to seek more permanent solutions by providing residents with the tools needed to exit poverty. This dream led the Budds to donate $2.5 million to Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas to endow The Budd Center for Involving Communities in Education.
The Budd Center is a radical, unique concept that partners DISD with area non-profits to effectively tackle every aspect of a child’s life and development, all backed by the resources of SMU. Through utilizing comprehensive data, the Center aims to spark meaningful and sustainable change in West Dallas by addressing all aspects of a student’s life that could affect his or her ability to be successful in school. This 360 view includes housing, safety, healthcare, legal services, nutrition and counseling.
The Budd Center hopes to create a blueprint that can be used effectively throughout the entire nation to promote successful communities.
The Budd Center serves as the cornerstone organization of The School Zone, an existing organization that brings together 16 public schools in West Dallas and 29 different non-profits. Established in 2010, The School Zone is dedicated to working closely with the children of West Dallas to help them exit poverty.
The Budd Center is part of The Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at SMU.