Mentor and MenteeThread believes – and urges others to believe – that empathetic and enduring relationships are our society’s most essential form of wealth. This conviction stems from the understanding that at some point in each of our lives we have all felt alone. For some, this sense of isolation is momentary; for others, it lasts a lifetime. However long it lasts, it leaves unfulfilled our very human need to connect with and matter to others. We experience the “poverty of isolation.”

Thread believes that, by cultivating relationships that transcend racial and socioeconomic barriers – and by creatively building unconventional families and communities not defined by DNA and addresses – we can overcome the poverty of isolation and, in its place, establish a wealth of human connection permanently linked by unconditional love and support. Thread understands that children growing up in concentrated poverty need more than just improved financial resources or better classrooms; they need the same unassailable support and deep interpersonal bonds that we all need. Thread builds these bonds for students, volunteers and collaborators.

My dreams of becoming a scientist brought me from Iran to the United States and to [Johns Hopkins] as a PhD student. However, the barriers of language, culture, and presumptions made me feel lonely, marginalized and insignificant in my new community. It seemed to me that all my dreams were going to wither. Right when I was going through this gloomy struggle I joined Thread, and met many dreamers. One of them was a high school student, stuck in the cycle of failure, poverty, and drugs. [Together], we learned not to lose hope and how to keep on dreaming for a brighter future. –Thread Volunteer