Our first graduate! Shy stole a car his freshman year, his mom died of unnatural causes his sophomore year and his dad has been a no show. Amazing how far he has come! Shy is now enrolled at Seattle Central College and, thanks to one of our donors, has a job working at Costco. When talking about MUST he said, “I don’t know where I would be without your help.” Shy wants to stick around MUST over this next year to help mentor the younger kids coming up through the ranks. <insert fist pump!>
The heading above is not our baby Henry randomly typing on the keyboard. It represents a big day for MUST! We are now recognized as a tax exempt organization by the IRS. It’s more exciting than it sounds. There are three big things it does for us. First, there is a lot of grant money available for organizations like MUST and 501(c)3 is required by many in order to apply. Second, we can now accept donations directly and save money on third party admin fees. Third, we now qualify for corporate donation matching. Many donors work for companies that will match their donations to MUST. Very cool. Now that our three year pilot program is complete MUST is ready to launch into its growth phase. Please continue donating through New Horizons until we tell you differently.
Leon, one of our new mentors, will be attending Seattle Central with Shy in the fall. We are hoping that he and Shy support each other while in school. Rick and Leon were getting a tour of Seattle Central this Spring and Leon said “I am so glad I am doing this (the mentoring program and college). I felt like my life was on pause until now.” There are a lot of responsible guys like Leon who have the potential to go to college and beyond but have not been encouraged or supported to do so. They ‘stay on pause’ for the rest of their lives. MUST wants to find these young men and help them get to the finish line of their education and mentor some high risk kids along the way. MUST serves both mentor and mentee.
One of the unforeseen benefits of MUST has been influencing the girlfriends. The guys in MUST often get girlfriends who eventually ask “Can I come too?” when we go out on our fun outings. As we get to know the girls better and they understand that the guys in the mentoring program want to go to college the girls begin to care more about their own grades. Jamika (center with white headband) recently said she now wants to graduate high school and head toward college. How cool is that?!