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No One Get’s There Alone…Especially Now
Living Out the Elevate Mission in a Rapidly Changing World

March 18, 2020

Dear Friends and Family of Elevate,

Our beliefs shape our character, actions, and attitudes.  Times of uncertainty and difficulty become a litmus test of our beliefs and character. “No one gets there alone” is a belief that is woven throughout the fabric of our organization.  As the situation continues to evolve for the world, Elevate staff and affiliates are “leaning in” to make sure that our students are not alone during this unprecedented time.

Many of our students face a host of difficulties when their schools close. Access to food and other basic necessities become very difficult. Social-emotional health becomes a struggle as difficult living situations are compounded with additional people living in the home and the pressure of under-employment or no employment creates heightened stress and conflict.

And yet, there is another story that is beginning to take shape that needs to be told.  The goodness and the strong character of the people of the world continues to emerge in incredible acts of generosity, kindness and caring.

Elevate staff are at the leading edge of this movement. The mission of the model for 38 years has been “building long-term, life-changing relationships with urban youth”.  With school closures and “social distancing” measures being put into place, our staff have found new, innovative, safe, and responsible ways to build relationships with students.  Staff have been providing food and basic needs to families, mentoring through video conferencing, and providing social-emotional health through phone calls and texts. Our methods to accomplish this mission might have had to pivot for the time, but our mission has not. We build relationships, that will not stop.

As a national organization, we continue to be innovative and supportive of our staff and students. We are hosting a series of national professional development webinars for all Elevate affiliate staff and hosting national student webinars for college and career readiness. We also continue to be a hub of communication for our leaders and staff to create and share best practices with each other.

The unsung heroes of Elevate are the students that we all serve. For many years we have taught students the 13 character qualities and life skills through our in-school programming.  I am beginning to hear stories of current students and alumni who are implementing these character qualities in real and relevant ways. Handing out food, sharing words of hope, giving to neighbors, and caring for family members are all a testament to the good deeds that are occurring all throughout the “Elevate Nation”.

I am so proud to serve alongside the Elevate Nation of affiliates, staff, students, and alumni who are ensuring that “No One Gets There Alone”.

Grateful,

Kevin Byerley
CEO, Elevate USA

Please consider supporting Elevate USA or the individual affiliates right now with a matching opportunity provided by Stand Together at http://bit.ly/ElevateUSA.