Partner Update: United Way

The United Way National Capital Area has a broad mission, with one focus on keeping kids in school and on track for on-time high school graduation.  We interviewed Susannah Harris of Education Programs and Initiatives who is leading our partnership. 

Q: Why did UW-NCA invite Mentors, Inc. to partner with them?  We wanted to provide additional non-academic supports and needed a strong partner that could help us provide high-quality mentoring for students. Mentors Inc. is a member of the United Way of the National Capital and also participates in the Mentoring Matters coalition that United Way and Deloitte lead, so we were familiar (and impressed) with Mentors Inc.'s approach and impact. With 26 years of experience creating and supporting strong mentor-protégé relationships in our community, Mentors Inc. brought critical expertise to United Way's comprehensive middle school success and transitions pilot work at Kelly Miller M.S.  

Q: What outcomes do you expect from this pilot initiative at Kelly Miller?  We expect several shorter- and longer-term impacts.  First, based on Mentors Inc.'s own impact data, we expect that those Kelly Miller 8th graders who commit to their mentor-protégé relationship will weather the sometimes bumpy transition to high school and graduate. Second, we hope to reduce the "mentor gap" and engage more community members as caring adult mentors to support young people in our area. And finally, our longer-term goal is to work with Mentors Inc. and other middle-school stakeholders to offer mentors to more middle-school and high-school students and help reduce the high school dropout rate. 

Conclusion: The United Way NCA’s work with Mentors Inc., City Year, and DCPS staff at the Kelly Miller Middle School in Washington, D.C. is a great example of their business model in action, and Mentors, Inc. is proud to be a collaborative partner.