On-the-Way Tutoring & Mentoring

Heart of the City Mission Foundation has one very clear mission when it comes to education: If we can help kids get through high school and into college or a skilled trade school, we can change their lives. Without an education, it is very difficult for those living in poor urban areas of the city to escape generational poverty.

It seems the odds are stacked against them. Simple comparisons between children in poor families and children in non-poor families using national datasets indicate that poor children are more likely to do worse on indices of school achievement than non-poor children are.   Poor children are twice as likely as non-poor children to have repeated a grade, to have been expelled or suspended from school, or to have dropped out of high school. They are also 1.4 times as likely to be identified as having a learning disability in elementary or high school than their non-poor counterparts” (Answers.com:  Overview of Poverty and Education).

In addition to all the statistics available on this subject, we have anecdotal experiences of achievement in
 our local war on poverty.   At this time, there are 14 youth and young adults in college or have already graduated— all from the work of volunteers at Mission Church on Pearl Street in Fort Wayne where our efforts began organically in 2001.   Most of these students are the first in their families to complete high school and attend a college.  Many are the first on their block to go to college.  The graduates are becoming productive and growing in financial health.

In her book  A Framework For Understanding Poverty, Dr. Ruby K. Payne writes:

An education is the key to getting out of, and staying out of, generational poverty.   Individuals leave poverty for one of four reasons:  a goal or vision of something they want to be or have;  a situation that is so painful that anything would be better;  someone who “sponsors” them (i.e., an educator or spouse or mentor or role model who shows them a different way or convinces them that they could live differently);  or a specific talent or ability that provides an opportunity for them.  (page 79)

On The Way Tutors & Mentors has begun to partner with other organizations in Fort Wayne to expand the opportunity for tutoring  relationships—  emphasis: relationships.  More than just teaching, we ask those who volunteer to model and mentor healthy life skills.   We believe that learning to respectfully communicate with others, engaging in multiple cultural and societal opportunities, and embracing entrepreneurial pursuits can be important components of a mentoring relationship.

Donations are used to fund targeted curriculum and projects focused on proficiency in reading, math, writing, and computer skills.

Download the PDF version of the HOTC Mentoring Manual.