We are thrilled to be deep into the second year of our four-year strategic plan. As we work to grow our community, we are consistently thinking about the well being of our students, volunteers, and collaborators and are focused on providing the tools and support necessary to build relationships that thrive.

This year, Thread will welcome 112 new students from our four high school sites—Dunbar, Frederick Douglass, Academy for College and Career Exploration (ACCE), and Digital Harbor and over 1,110 new volunteers from The Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, Towson University, University of Maryland, and our community and corporate partners.

Given our hyper-focus on our people and knitting together relationships, we have seen a massive increase in volunteers joining Thread. In the first quarter of FY19, 185 individuals joined our community which is more than double the number of new volunteers recruited during the same period last year. At Morgan State University alone, more than 40 volunteers have joined our community since the fall semester kicked off in late August. We were also delighted to welcome a dynamic team of Legg Mason volunteers who helped run a fun-filled Field Day in September and we look forward to working with many of them again at our community-wide holiday party in December.

Once enrolled, we strive to provide extensive support as our students and volunteers navigate their Thread journey. Understanding that long term authentic and mutual relationships are the key to our students’ success, we have increased our focus on ensuring volunteers have the real-time resources needed to consistently show all the way up. Whether it is a connection with a collaborator who can provide legal support during an eviction or coaching for how to deal with their own life struggles, Thread volunteer leaders and staff care deeply about our volunteers.

As a result, ninety-four percent of our current volunteers returned in Q1 of FY19 and 99% of our new volunteers are still active in the community. We believe in our students. We believe in our volunteers. The personal development of all members of the Thread Community is paramount to the success of the Thread Community Model. A willingness to grow and learn provides the foundation for deep relationships to form. And we will continue to nurture the development of everyone through robust trainings and coaching throughout the year.

People fuel our movement and we are deeply grateful for everyone’s belief in and commitment to one another.