“VPP is motivated to invest in good leaders. If there were moments of difficulty, those moments passed because we trusted and believed in one another.”
– Donald Hense
Founder and Chairman of Friendship Public Charter School
For me, the first day of school was the most exciting day of my youth. I can still see the green sweater and plaid skirt I wore as my parents, both sets of grandparents and godparents snapped pictures of me. All of my loved ones gathering for this day signified the importance of education and that I had a community of family members who were going to support me. They were cheering me on to succeed before I even knew what success meant!
I loved growing up in Washington, DC. I believed this community would help me achieve my goals and dreams, and I did. Today, it pains me to see so many young students who don’t have the support to dream big and achieve their goals. The desire to support our kids motivates me to help our children aim higher and succeed.
At the start of a child’s school year, their hopes and dreams are so promising. Carrying backpacks and stories from the summer, students (and their parents) start the first day of school a lot like the first day of the year; There are resolutions and great expectations.
Imagine then, the start of the school year for our youngest students: preschoolers and pre-kindergartners at AppleTree Early Learning Public Charter School. Because they are so young, their hope and promise is exponential on the first day of school.
Urban Alliance Digs Deep into DataCamp
Urban Alliance hosted, with their Social Innovation Fund (SIF) evaluation partner Urban Institute, an all-day DataCamp for 50 nonprofit and research professionals. The event allowed participants to brainstorm solutions to their collective data challenges. The insights helped the Urban Alliance generate a report, The Missing Pieces in Youth-Employment Data Collection and Assessment, co-authored by Urban Alliance’s Daniel Tsin.
Moreover, based on the work from DataCamp, Urban Alliance has developed a new soft-skills assessment form to help them understand their student’s readiness for the workplace. They piloted this form over the summer and hope to fully implement it this fall.
youthCONNECT at Suitland High School Has Launched
During the spring 2015 semester, VPP and the network partners implemented a pilot program that served 300 students. With lessons learned from the pilot program, youthCONNECT at Suitland High School kicked off on August 26th, the first day of school, and we are looking forward to an exciting year filled with collaboration and innovation. A continuation of the youthCONNECT model, youthCONNECT at Suitland High School is a transformative cross-sector partnership among nonprofits, public sector organizations and businesses in Prince George’s County, Maryland that prepare students for adulthood. A majority of the youthCONNECT at Suitland services are integrated into courses at the request of school leadership. This level of integration strengthens youthCONNECT’s ability to have a positive direct impact on students served, and indirectly contributes to a positive college and career readiness school culture. Collectively, the five nonprofits will help over seven hundred young people at Suitland High School successfully transition to colleges and careers. With the support of key leaders, youthCONNECT at Suitland has the opportunity to help change the trajectory of life outcomes for Suitland High School students.
Where Are They Now? A Conversation with Donald Hense, Founder and Chairman of Friendship Public Charter School.
|Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) makes the future brighter for youth living in the National Capital Region by tackling the largest barriers to their success and forging partnerships that bring the expertise, passion and reach necessary to achieve life-changing results. Over the past 15 years, VPP has raised $100 million to help children and youth of low-income families in the National Capital Region access quality education, health care and career training – setting them on the right path to learn, graduate, and become successful, healthy adults. This funding, coupled with our management expertise and support in strengthening staff leadership, has increased the capacity of local nonprofits to help them expand to 80 new sites and serve 50,000 young people each year.|
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