In 2017, TRUE Mentors received a grant from of Hoboken Family Alliance for their Enrichment Club Program. This additional funding helped TRUE Mentors launch their 2017-2018 Enrichment Club Program with over 30 children in attendance, setting a new record for September program enrollment. Our average class attendance this year started at 32 students each week, up from 25 students last year. We also launched our largest teen internship program to date, enrolling 11 new interns and 9 returning interns as well as 25 mentors and workshop support staff. The numbers below tell part of the story. This year, thanks to an increase in HFA funding, we were able to hold 5 summer field trips, host a Halloween field trip to the Mason Civic League for pumpkin carving, host a field trip to a paint studio and we are able to host our first ever Christmas Party at the Boys & Girls Club!
For the second year in a row, thanks to HFA funding, we were able to host a spring musical, Aladdin, with Garden Street School of Performing arts. They provided a director and scripts, while HFA’s grant helped pay for the production space and props. Last year, Amiah played a supporting role in the HFA funded musical, Annie, and spoke of the amount of confidence she gained. This year, stated she “really got confidence out of the musical theater.” This year, Amiah was the star of the show, performing as Aladdin in front of a full house at St. Matthew’s Church. For most of our students, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to star in a show on stage.
This summer, our mentees were super excited to spend a night at the movies to see Despicable Me 3! Twenty-two minions, I mean mentees, joined us on this field trip. This was our first trip of the summer and the kids had a blast eating popcorn and laughing at the minions. Our second trip of the summer was to Funplex in East Hanover. Our mentees specifically requested this trip and volunteers and mentees enjoyed racing around on go-carts, playing laser tag and checking out the waterpark. Our mentees enjoy learning about science and are excited to go back for another class this fall! We also continued our community service projects this summer, with students as young as 7 years old volunteering to paint faces at The Night Out Against Crime this summer. Our last trip of the summer was to Mad Science at the Monroe Center. Our younger mentees learned how to program robots and each had their own robot to drive around the room!
As exciting as this all is, I am most excited about our growth in the number of children we are serving in our weekly enrichment club program and the TRUE one-to-one mentoring relationships that formed as a result. Phil and Ricky (pictured below) first met at Clubs back in February. Their second week together they hit it off and Ricky asked Phil to be his mentor. The two have been best buds ever since! At our End of the Year Celebration at PierA, mentee Sofia asked Cathleen to be her mentor. It was truly an amazing moment to see; this TRUE relationship would not be possible without the support from organizations like you.
We look to build on these successes in the 2018 school year and look forward to applying for the Hoboken Family Alliance Community Neighbor’s Awards Grant again this year. Donors truly make a difference in the children of Hoboken. To learn more about how YOU can support monthly programs, email [email protected] or make a donation online.