Baltimore’s troubles have been well-chronicled in the national media, but the New York Times is taking some time to work on solutions over the next two weeks. One of Baltimore’s most innovative nonprofits is getting a two-part profile in the New York Times’ Opinionator section. In the first installment, author David Bornstein writes that Thread has changed the way he thinks about “what’s possible.”
The nonprofit focuses on helping ninth graders who are facing big challenges in life that have nothing to do with the classroom. With struggles at home, the students are in the bottom 25 percent of their classes. To help the students, Thread connects them with a team of five volunteers who can help with little things like rides, as well as matters of life trajectory like college admissions.
Underpinning the work is the idea is that poverty is a “condition of isolation, not just a lack of money,” Bornstein writes. Abell Foundation President Robert Embry says he can’t think of a more effective program. Baltimore City Schools CEO Gregory Thornton says its only issue is the fact that it should be bigger.
With its big network, Thread is also connecting the city. “That to me is where the real power is. As wonderful as the outcomes are, what brought me into Thread was the grander vision of a more equitable and inclusive city,” Rodney Foxworth of Invested Impact tells Bornstein.
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