About Us

“We can invest in our youth today or pay much more later.”

Art Acevedo, Former Chief of Austin Police Department,CARY Board Member

20 Years

CARY was formed in 1999 in response to the Columbine tragedy in an effort to increase school safety and to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. CARY has successfully provided services for 12,000 children since its founding. CARY currently serves 1,200 students in 12 middles and high schools accross four school districts in Central Texas.

CARY’s Unique Value Proposition

  1. CARY is the only provider targeting students with the highest likelihood of entering into the school-to-prison pipeline.
  2. 20 years of proven outcomes with over 12,000 students.
  3. Multiple external evaluations validating program efficacy.

CARY Makes A Difference For…

CARY serves the highest-risk students in Central Texas. With our help, students benefit from services they will not receive anywhere else, and are empowered to find their voice and become successful members of our community.

  • Adolescents who have a history of trauma, poverty, abuse, racial discrimination, and special needs are over-represented in the justice system.  
  • School suspensions are the #1 predictor of drop out, juvenile justice involvement, and future issues in adulthood like unemployment, reliance on welfare, and imprisonment.
    Learn more about how it works – school suspensions

Evidence-Based Curriculum

CARY’s evidence-based Youth Violence Prevention Curriculum provides life skills training, anger management training, one-on-one counseling, group counseling, and confidence-building field trips. CARY students have the highest likelihood of becoming involved in the school-to-prison pipeline based on serious disciplinary referrals including drug use, gang involvement, and violence.

CARY Success


The CARY program costs only $750 per child versus an estimated $120,000 per year per child in the criminal justice system.

The City of Austin, Travis County, Austin Independent School District, Governor’s Criminal Justice Division, and the U.S. Department of Justice are each funding sources for CARY, but the information presented herein does not officially represent the opinion or policy of these government agencies.