After many years of journeying with the original ten mothers in the Family Mentoring Program, we learned that by building relationships with the mothers and focusing on their goals, we had an effect on the trajectory of their children: 80% of their college age children went to college. In 2017, with this successful model in place, we implemented the Dream Path Program for families who have a dream for their children to reach their full potential and graduate from college or other post-secondary education.
Join Hands staff and volunteers walk with mothers and children as they set goals and expectations for themselves. To achieve their goals, we provide emotional support, mentoring, accountability, education advocacy, and as funding allows school tuition. Join Hands is built on personal relationships. Participants describe Join Hands as their extended family.
The Dream Path is whole family mentoring to achieve children’s academic success. The Dream Path Program includes participants in the Family Mentoring and Teen Mentoring programs, and includes education advocacy and alternative education services. The Dream Path is a pathway out of poverty — one family and one child at a time. The Dream Path currently includes 30 Family Mentoring Program mothers and their 100 children and 25 other teens in the Teen Mentoring Program.
Expansion of the Join Hands programs culminating in the Dream Path Program would not have been possible without acquisition of a physical location for the programs. Until 2016, Join Hands had no office space.