Changing trajectories: In D.C., a push to unlock children’s potential

Aug 15, 2018 by

Washington, D.C., can be a contrast between a center of power and needy neighborhoods. Our reporter looks at how one woman leads an effort that’s leveling the playing field for young people in the city. –

David Karas Robin Berkley, executive director of the nonprofit Horton’s Kids in Washington, aims to create opportunities for youths growing up in Wellington Park, a community in which, according to the nonprofit, 80 percent of adults lack a high school diploma and the average annual household income is below $10,000.

By David Karas Correspondent –

When Robin Berkley was working at EducationCounsel, a consulting firm in Washington, she was hesitant to take on tutoring responsibilities because of frequent travel obligations for her job. But as she started tutoring a young boy named Devin, her career focus started to change. Ms. Berkley met Devin through Horton’s Kids, a Washington nonprofit that facilitated the tutoring sessions and works with youths from the Wellington Park neighborhood, one of the city’s most violent, under-resourced communities. Berkley began as a volunteer for the organization in 2011, and in a sign of just how much her focus has changed, she’s served as the group’s executive director since 2014. “What is happening in Wellington Park is systemic and is multi-generational,” she says. “If you don’t disrupt that in a positive way, you’re going to keep wasting incredible talent.” The Horton’s Kids approach has yielded results: Participating children are twice as likely as their peers to graduate from high school, according to the organization’s records. The annual Horton’s Kids fundraiser is at Nationals Park and involves members of Congress, among others.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor Daily for August 14, 2018

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