Kepler, Next Step’s Program Director, has been busy during September – National Sickle Cell Awareness Month! Kepler spent a few days in both New York City and Washington D.C. training our STRIVE volunteers in preparation for the start of our Fall program. He also hosted a training session for our Boston site this past Wednesday night at our office in Cambridge, MA.
STRIVE is Next Step’s after-school academic and mentorship program for high school teenagers living with sickle cell disease. Each site supports between 10 to 15 teenagers living with sickle cell disease during a school semester. This is our 10th year hosting this program that provides critical support to teenagers working hard to manage both their sickle cell disease and their schoolwork at the same time. Not easy to do alone. That’s where Next Step and our STRIVE volunteers come in. Our friendly, engaging and smart group of volunteers provides personal and academic mentorship to help our STRIVE participants reach their personal and academic goals. Our STRIVE volunteers are comprised of students from universities in each city. Some of our STRIVE volunteers grew up living with sickle cell disease or another chronic illness. Many of them have dreams of becoming a doctor or a teacher once they graduate from college.
Our 2019 Fall volunteers attend the following universities:
- Boston – Harvard University
- New York City – Columbia University
- Washington D.C. – University of Maryland & George Washington University
Each STRIVE training session that Kepler leads is full of fun and creative team bonding games, and of course, extensive planning for the upcoming academic year. Our STRIVE program in Washington D.C. launched last week and our NYC and Boston sites will launch during the first week of October!
Thank you to all of the awesome college students who volunteered to support our STRIVE program this Fall! You truly are changing lives!