Meet Dr. Tre Pennie
I grew up in the inner-city of Houston, Texas at the height of "America’s War on Drugs." This period was characterized by high-levels of gun violence and illegal drug abuse. After witnessing the shooting death of my cousin in highschool, I decided to pursue a career in law enforcement — this led me to the doorsteps of the U.S. Army.
After serving four years in the military and simultaneously graduating with an Associate Degree in Administration of Justice from Honolulu Community College, I aspired to continue a life in public service and joined the Dallas Police Department in 1999. While serving with the Department, I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from Midwestern State University and a Master's Degree in Counseling from Prairie View A&M University.
In 2017, I earned status being among America’s top 2% of scholars after receiving a Doctorate Degree in Higher Education from Texas Tech University. I believe that education and civic duty are the cornerstones of success and upward mobility. This inspired me to become a university professor and community advocate for positive social change.
As the founder and executive director of three law enforcement charities, I became a national proponent for helping to bridge the gap between police and underserved communities across the country. Over the years, I grew more politically active which led to me being considered for a Presidential Appointment to the White House.
Instead of accepting the appointment, I elected to run for Congress to more directly serve the people of my community. In 2020, as a national candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, the EARN-IT strategy was an integral part of my campaign platform to promote economic and academic opportunities for Texas Congressional District 30 and the other 120 majority-minority districts represented in Congress. Although I was unsuccessful in my congressional run in Texas Congressional District 30, I remained committed to the mission of helping underserved communities succeed through education and career advancement.
This was the inspiration for creating the EARN-IT USA Foundation; which was granted 501(c)3 status under IRS guidelines.