STRIVE Initiative’s mission is to cultivate positive perceptions and provide diverse aligned mentorship, helping Pottstown youth realize their academic and individual aspirations.
STRIVE (Strengthening Tomorrow Requires Initiative & Vision Everyday) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with a purpose to improve the academic, behavioral, and social skills of Pottstown youth.
Who We Are
STRIVE was founded by Pottstown High School graduates David Charles and Anthony Lyon to help Pottstown’s young people achieve their dreams with the support of caring adults, in addition to their parents and teachers. STRIVE is guided by a diverse and inclusive board of directors, while our Created For Greatness mentoring program is carried out by engaged citizen volunteers, supportive public school teachers and administrators, and the middle school students who are stepping out of their comfort zones to create the futures they envision for themselves.
How We Work
At STRIVE we seek grassroots engagement and solutions. Many of the challenges experienced in Pottstown can be traced back to citizens’ lack of community connection. STRIVE has hosted a series of community-wide meetings where residents expressed the lack of connection as a contributing factor to challenges faced in our community and in our schools.
The ill-effects of disconnection are evident in the deterioration of neighborhoods, increased crime rates, increased family dysfunction, the lack of living-wage jobs, limitations to the social determinants of health, and most profoundly in the struggles of youth in our schools.
Fortunately, we have the power to turn this around. Research indicates that a positive relationship with another person can reverse the negative impacts of disconnection. We work to create an authentic and thriving community in which adults and youth have the power and voice to fulfill the dreams they have for themselves and their communities.
What We Believe
By getting to know our neighbors and by mentoring our young people on their educational journey, WE have the power to change the dynamics of OUR town. We believe that each person has the power to make a difference in our community—and we strive one day at a time, one person at a time, to mentor one another to become a more connected Pottstown!
We are excited to report the overwhelming response from students, teachers, mentors, and parents. Our CFG program growth went from 8 students at the beginning of 2021-2022 school year to over 45 students who are currently participating in STRIVE programs. We currently have 15 students matched with community mentors, and we are adding students and adults to the program daily. Through a previous grant, we were able to purchase various cooperative games that have attracted many of the students in the middle school to join our programs. STRIVE engages in weekly incentivized conversations and activities in the outdoor court yards at the middle school. STRIVE continues to engage students in small conversations with mentors and community stakeholders, while providing lunch for these gatherings.
Students are sharing valuable insights regarding their future and are eager to share about their personal struggles during the Covid-19 school year closure. We are building authentic trust with students and teachers to help create positive solutions for real change in the district. Throughout our years of building the Created For Greatness program, STRIVE has impacted more than 2800 students in the Pottstown School District. Our impact includes positive, consistent encouragement and emotional support with students during all lunches and mentorship opportunities during our morning mentoring block. STRIVE has committed to genuine support for teachers, parents, and administration to keep this district wide momentum going.
“My mentor is caring and sweet. She guides me through a lot of things in life, like troubles with people or family stuff.” – Mentee
“This program has connected me with a student I probably would have never met or discovered in passing. The idea of bringing mentoring to students is genuine and genius. Students who have hopes, dreams and goals, but don’t know how to attain them or who to reach out to help them reach their dreams and goals.” – Mentor
“I am so grateful to have a mentor working with us. He is so positive and cares so much about the community. It would be wonderful to have a mentor like him in every classroom because of the impact he makes” – Teacher
Help Us Keep The Momentum Going
STRIVE has experienced major growth, initiating strong community connections, expanding its mentoring capacity, continuing a multi-year board and budget and accounting development process with the help of various foundations and community partners. We are continuing to expand our Created For Greatness program while building our Community Conversation program and launching our Virtual World Mentor Program.
We need you to help us keep the momentum going. Please donate today!