It takes a dedicated team of volunteers to make Higher Achievement’s program a success, but how is that team assembled? Who brings together the people who unite mentors with Higher Achievement’s mission?
At the DC Metro affiliate, that’s Chris Perkins, Senior Manager of Volunteer Recruitment and Development and his team. Chris offered insight into his experiences, which are two-fold; he has served as both an AmeriCorps volunteer and a manager and recruiter of mentors.
“This is a program that doesn’t just fill your evening once a week for two hours, but it changes you as you spark change in scholars.”
Afterschool Academy engages volunteers by shaping the personal and academic successes of middle school students. Chris’ commitment to our scholars and their mentors is largely a result of the role that afterschool education and mentoring played in his life. He always says, “I’m living proof that mentoring changes lives!”
“I love Higher Achievement because I can see myself in scholars like Kendell. Like her, I was a passionate middle school student struggling in an underserved school system that didn’t meet my needs. I was not interested in letting that hold me back. Kendell has a passion that is infectious, and a talent that – given the opportunity – would blossom. Her neighborhood should be the last thing that determines her success.”
“Her mentor Daniel Workman is here to ensure that it doesn’t. What Kendell needed was someone just as passionate about her success as she was. We found that in Mr. Daniel. When asked why he mentored Daniel said ‘with all that is happening right now in this country, how could I not get involved.’ Many times over the last 6 years, I have met scholars and alumni who tell me that the biggest factor in their success was the dedication they received from their mentor. I know that to be true in my life, and I’m sure that it will be true for Kendell. I also know that Mr. Daniel will be play a huge role in that success.”
Every year, more than 300 community members join Mr. Daniel in his commitment to get involved. But, we need more help. Afterschool Academy starts October 13th and many of our scholars still don’t have mentors. Become a mentor this year by emailing Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or applying at higherachievement.org/volunteer.