Reach Back Spring Forward, Inc. (RSBF) is currently mentoring six young ladies, ranging in age from 16 to 23 years.
"The mentorship program is set-up to expose mentees to experiences they wouldn’t normally encounter."
RBSF offers a diverse array of activities to enhance the cultural, personal and professional development of the young ladies we mentor. Mentees have traveled to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to see Joseph, the Sight and Sound play and to New York City to visit the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. RBSF hosts monthly foreign cuisine nights; to date, we have tried sushi, calamari, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, and Ethiopian dishes. Mentees meet biweekly to “get back to the basics” where we come together formally to assess progress toward established goals, brainstorm strategies and troubleshoot obstacles as a group. We have an “open door/call/text” policy and our girls take full advantage.
"...everyone set one to three goals each to achieve within the next 12 months..."
In addition to our mentorship program, RBSF has been partnering with area shelters to setup “Homeless Pop-up Shops.” An RBSF Pop-up Shop is a true experience and we deliver new and gently used items to families in transition. These are homeless families who are still working and going to school everyday as they look for safe, secure and stable housing. We collect clothing for men, women and children of all ages. We take the shop to the shelter and setup a mobile boutique for the day. Residents are able to come in and choose as many items as they like free of charge. The pop-up shop is set up with racks and tables and mirrors, the residents are catered to. Volunteers assess their wardrobe needs and deliver personal shopper services to each and every resident. This experience quickly turns into more than just shopping; it’s a total social gathering, conversations are had, stories are shared, numbers are exchanged. It is a rewarding experience for all involved.
"If we start with safe, healthy and stable housing we can remove one of the largest impediments..."
RBSF's five-year plan culminates with a residential facility with supportive services for the “if only” population of adolescents to young adults, ages 12-24. It has been our experience that many disadvantaged youths want to be in a better place academically, personally, and ultimately professionally, but they lack the support, guidance and stable housing conditions which are integral to their development and success. If we start with safe, healthy and stable housing we can remove one of the largest impediments and focus on academic, personal and professional development by creating and implementing a plan which includes tutoring, mentoring, job-readiness, life skills and social enhancement. As we work toward our ultimate goal, a residential facility, we are strengthening our skills, experience and relationships in the various supportive services and plan to use grant funding and contributions from supporters to strengthen our existing programs, expand our reach and diversify our activities.