Thread engages academically underperforming high school students confronting significant barriers outside of the classroom by providing each one with a family of committed volunteers and increased access to community resources. We foster students' academic advancement and personal growth into self-motivated, resilient, and responsible citizens.
What We Do
We build non-traditional families.
Freshman students at risk of failing to graduate high school are identified based on their academic performance (bottom 25% of their class) and an abundance of challenges outside the classroom. Each Thread student is matched with a group of up to five volunteers, an extended family that does whatever it takes to provide their student and family with completely customized support. This might include packing lunches, providing rides to school, tutoring, connecting students and their families to existing community resources, and coordinating clothing, furniture, or appliance donations. Thread supports its students for nearly ten years, the remainder of high school and six years thereafter.
Thread volunteers form deep, enduring, and emotionally sustaining relationships with students, volunteers, and collaborators and grow personally and professionally from being part of the Thread community. As they get to know their student counterparts at nearby high schools, Thread volunteers quickly come to experience the Thread Value that "everybody has something to teach and everybody has something to learn." In addition, Thread volunteers are trained and mentored as they learn the Thread Core Competencies and form relationships, not only with students, but also with collaborators throughout Baltimore, acquiring leadership skills and creating strong ties to the larger Baltimore community.
Thread is changing the fabric of Baltimore - and the future. Just this year, 415 students and alumni, 850+ volunteers and 350+ collaborators have spent over 30,000 hours together, building relationships that transcend barriers and enrich the lives of everyone involved. Thread students have performed thousands of hours of community service, primarily in Baltimore City, but also globally, joining our volunteers and collaborators as they become the next generation of agents of change. The relationships that Thread has woven have given our students an even greater opportunity to defy the odds:
87% of students who have been in Thread for 6 years have graduated high school
84% of students who have been in Thread for 5 years have been accepted to college
83% of student alumni have completed a 4 or 2 year degree or certificate program
In addition, by weaving together students, university- and community- based volunteers, and collaborators into a new social fabric - one that transcends barriers and works to end disconnectedness - Thread is working to interrupt the cycle of poverty, crime, and lack of education and improve the odds for all students.