Founded four years ago on the principles of care and consistency, our Founder and Executive Director Donovan Forrest believes in the life-changing influence of positive mentor and mentee relationships As a former "at-risk" youth and a current pre-service teacher at Temple University in Philadelphia, Forrest believes that the people who represent higher education and academic success matter. Forrest is driven by the belief that when high school students see their mentors are twenty-something-year-old college students of color, their perspective of what can be achieved can change.
Over the past four years, DonCARES has partnered with numerous organizations to provide quality one-on-one mentoring, tutoring, and empowerment workshops for youth at The U School in North Philadelphia. Now, an AmeriCorps Partner, DonCARES' mission is to increase representation in youth mentoring while encouraging their fellow college students and their high school mentees to participate in a safe, culturally competent, and uplifting environment.
Headed by undergraduate students of color, Forrest commends his team for keeping him grounded while doing such critical work. "A major part of our culture is to show self-appreciation for each other. This work is duly a sacrifice and is met with positive reinforcements such as public recognition and gift cards." Forrest says.
With an organization of over forty members of the millennial generation and generation Z, Forrest attributes his organization's success by its clear and concise mission. "We aim to increase representation in education through mentoring," Forrest says. "Mentoring is fun and it is also impactful. As a result, many college students agree to commit to this type of critical work for our youth."
This summer, DonCARES gave out over $825.00 of Whole Foods gift cards to Philadelphians in need. While also providing cool bottles of water to over 300 members of Philadelphia's most vulnerable populations.
For the 2019-2020 school year, DonCARES is headed by Forrest, Cameron Battle Bradshaw, Brianna Morales, Giovanni Brown, and James Wright. Alexandra Gordon, a longtime member, and Board Secretary is currently on hiatus until the Fall.