Thompson has collaborated with the national nonprofit Friends of the Children to launch Friends of the Children – Charlotte, which will begin enrolling youth in July of 2018. The program will provide Charlotte’s most vulnerable children with a long-term, salaried, professional mentor, who we call a Friend, for 12 ½ years – no matter what.
Why Does Charlotte Need This?
In 2013 researchers ranked Charlotte, NC, 50th out of 50 among the largest U.S. cities in economic mobility. This means the zip code a child is born into is what ultimately defines their future….
For the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area at large, the U.S. Census currently reports that 44% of the 13,976 children ages 4-5 live in households earning below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.
In Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) with the highest concentration of black students, only 29% of third graders read at or above grade level, compared with 59% at balanced campuses and 82% in schools with the highest concentration of white students.
And this is just the beginning…
The Friends of the Children model has the potential to address the needs of children in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community because it has a proven track-record of releasing children from intergenerational poverty.
Learn more about Friends of the Children by going to friendsofthechildren.org and watch this video on how they Change the Story:
In the News
- Michael Jordan is donating proceeds from a special edition Bulls jersey to Friends of the Children!
- Charlotte announcement press release (available online here)
- Charlotte’s most at-risk kindergarteners are getting a paid mentor – for 12 years
- This May Be the Key to Graduating At-Risk Students
- Friends for life: Addressing the Opportunity Task Force Recommendations
- Thompson In Depth
- Breaking the Cycle of Generational Poverty: Guest Opinion
- Nonprofit news roundup, 11.17.17
- At-Risk Youth Get Big Break
- SEED20 Class of 2020 Participant