RFT is designed to work within a local community's established infrastructure and add value to existing programs- we are primarily a "value added program". While our academic and experiential programs can stand alone, they are more effective embedded within a school or Community Based Organization (CBO).
While our programming focuses on customized academic enrichment, remediation, or credit recovery or one week college experiences to inspire each participant, RFT is not capable at present to work with one family or youth at a time.
Our modules rely on individual youth being a part of a larger group so we take advantage of economies of scale in terms of mentors and instructors as well as during college programs. To our readers who are looking for a unique summer experience for their children, we suggest introducing RFT to a local CBO or school based program in your community.
Many nonprofits have struggled applying for grants because they simply do not have an academic program that is evidence based and effective. By partnering with RFT this issue is solved for virtually every nonprofit or CBO, so the local group can add a proven academic program as part of their offerings- see (link to Trammell report). This enables the CBO to apply for a greater range of grants supporting their ongoing programmatic goals.
Both the academic and experiential programs created by RFT staff can be customized to meet the needs of the local CBO. The Extralearning Online (ELO) academic program can be tailored to meet the local school syllabus by grade level and subject. RFT designs the summer college campus experiences in collaboration with the CBO and its staff.
For those colleges and organizations seeking a capable partner to support a federal GEAR UP grant, RFT offers a generous matching "in kind" contribution to its college partner in addition to both an evidence based academic program (link to Trammell) and a measurable summer college experiential component -link to Summer Experiential Program page.
RFT was awarded a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant in 1995 to serve a DC Public School which was subsequently closed. However, just as in the case above for GEAR UP applicants, RFT's programming can support the requirements for any 21st Century applicant who requires an evidence based academic component and/or a summer experiential program.
Any Adult in a Community Including Parents
How many times have you wondered what you as an individual can do to make a difference in your community? After all what can one single person do to effect a positive change in a young person? How much time would one have available to spend?
RFT cannot work with individual students in a community except when they are part of a larger group such as a Boys and Girls Club, 21st Century or GEAR UP program, or any CBO. Our academic program offers one on one instruction customized to each individual student, but that youth must be part of a larger group or organization.
RFT needs your help locally as we have a number of tasks for one person that can make a difference and not take an extraordinary amount of time.
"Let me introduce you to Reach For Tomorrow."
- Introduce our programs to local CBOs in your community- this means send an email with a link to this site to someone working with youth in your community or school. Our web site supplies the videos, photos, third party data, measurable data, and enough information to hopefully motivate the recipient of your email to contact us.
- If a local CBO or school decides to work with RFT, they will be asked to find local mentors to work with teams of up to 5 students for our summer college trips or help us track/monitor student progress during the academic year which requires no travel. Do you have time to send an email or make a phone call twice a grading period to 5 students?
- If your career field is flexible enough to allow youth to visit you and your peers on the job, then we would like your help to introduce RFT to your decision makers at your company so we can expose youth to a potential job once they complete their education.
- Are you on active duty or in the National Guard or Reserves? Would you introduce RFT to your commander so we can arrange for you to receive "points" for participating in CBO, school, or RFT activities?
"What Can I Do From Home with my PC or Mac?"
- Would you like to help write a locally based news letter for RFT participants in your community through this web site? This would include summer enrichment opportunities for younger youth as well as local job openings for older youth so they can build a resume as they start high school.
- We would like your help to manage photos and articles about local participating students on our web site.
We have tried to make this easy for you to say yes to get involved, as RFT is merely supplying the leadership and organization to help you in your local community.
RFT is always looking for collaborations with local companies whose employees are encouraged to volunteer their time to serve as mentors not only on our summer programs but also throughout the year. This would include exposing students to your career field along with its academic prerequisites, the ongoing training and learning required for your career field, and enabling youth to understand the correlation between academia and future careers.
RFT values the education and training provided by the military for its members in a wide array of career fields many of which directly apply to the civilian world. While RFT is not a recruiting program for the military services, we do try and use training programs and tools controlled by the Department of Defense so our youth can better understand the linkage between education and future careers.
Service members can support RFT programming the same way as companies and employers: mentoring, exposing youth to career fields by using various simulators and training programs, and providing access to local bases. Many times commanders encourage the use of "points only" awards for Reservists.
Retired military members can continue to serve as RFT volunteers in their local communities. The founder of RFT is a retired military officer and looks forward to working with more retirees willing to provide their leadership, innovation, and knowledge to continue and expand RFT's impact within a community.