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My Coast Guard
Commentary | March 29, 2022

Coast Guard PIE volunteers inspire students in Houston through reading activities and career day 

By Janki Panki, MyCG Writer

Volunteers from the Marine Safety and Security Team (MSST) Houston visited two local schools Feb. 24, as part of the Coast Guard’s Partnership in Education Program (PIE). The PIE program provides tutoring, mentoring, and other outreach activities exposing students to positive role models in their community.  

“Coast Guard volunteers in the PIE program serve as tutors, mentors, and role models,” said Juan Torres, acting PIE manager. “They form strong partnerships with local schools and community-based organizations to enhance educational opportunities and to raise awareness about the Coast Guard’s mission and career options.”  

The MSST Houston volunteers visited James DeAnda Elementary in Houston and Carter Lomax Middle in Pasadena. At the elementary school the volunteers focused on helping students read, whereas at the high school volunteers focused on Coast Guard careers.  

Theme: Real Men Read (James DeAnda Elementary School in Houston) 

Lt.j.g. Joshua Moore read “Looking Like Me” by Walter Dean Myers to students and completed activities together based on the book including discussion about the identities students carry within themselves.  

As a member of the Houston Independent School District, James DeAnda Elementary has programs throughout the city where they seek adults with careers to volunteer at local predominately minority public schools and read to the students.   

Moore found the opportunity through the local library and knew that it would be something his team would want to participate in through a collaboration with the PIE program and the school district. He attended the first event during at the end of February. He says that he and his team will continue to support the program each month that it is offered. His team has chosen to do this because reading is essential to cultivating the next generation of leaders, and community service is one of their command’s initiatives for the crew. 

Theme: Career Day (Carter Lomax Middle School in Pasadena, Texas) 

During a career day service members talked to four different classes of fourth graders about the Coast Guard’s missions, each of their respective career paths, their duties, and what a normal day looks like in their boots. The volunteers said they enjoyed the opportunity to talk with the students, related their jobs to what the students were currently studying. 

Get Involved 

Authorized under the National and Community Service Act of 1990, PIE is open to all members of the Coast Guard family—active duty, reserve, Auxiliary, civilian, and retiree. Not only does it allow you to represent the greatest Coast Guard, but it also affords you the opportunity to make a direct, positive impact in the lives of young children and teens while assisting in their educational progress. 


To get involved with the Coast Guard’s PIE program and serve as role models and mentors for students, please email Juan Torres.