What sets The Challenge Foundation apart from other programs is our long-term, whole-student approach to support. We designed our programs to provide a positive and constructive environment for both academic and extra-curricular pursuits, based on our belief that a child’s expanded environment plays a critical role in all aspects of his or her success.
Challenge Scholars face complex and unique obstacles; it is our goal to reveal a world of opportunity through quality academic experiences – and to provide both broad and detailed life support.
Whether braces or glasses are needed, a family is in crisis, or an emotional scar is uncovered and needs the attention of a professional, The Challenge Foundation helps where help is needed. Understanding that we truly care about them, our scholars develop a trust in our organization and volunteers and in the worthiness of their own abilities and dreams. This trust increases self-esteem, which leads to empowered performance. Our philosophy is altruistic and aggressive, but also practical. We believe, like many professional educators, that blending the science of education with the heart of compassion is the recipe for meaningful achievement.
Every Challenge Scholar is paired with a mentor who plays an integral role in his or her life for the duration of The Challenge Foundation program and, in most cases, far beyond. Mentors are community professionals who and role models who, with training and support from The Challenge Foundation, emphasize academic performance and personal development. Each has a college degree and a passion for working with kids. Through regular contact with students and their families, Challenge mentors form a strong bond through which strong support and encouragement is offered.
The Challenge Foundation staff monitors each scholar’s performance by meeting personally with teachers and advisors, participating in parent-teacher conferences, reviewing grades, and communicating in detail with the scholar’s individualized support team. The support team – comprised of tutors, mentors, counselors, and family members – ensures both resource availability and scholar accountability.
Challenge Scholars are evaluated routinely so that we may build profiles of their specific strengths, weaknesses, and needs. Both the Gates-MacGinitie and the Terra Nova tests are part of an evaluation written on each student with input from the director, teachers, and interns. As part of our individualized, whole-student approach, this comprehensive evaluation recommends specific action items related to reading, writing, and math – and also to personal character and motivation.