"I was able to witness how passionate many of our mentors were, not only toward the subject they were teaching, but also toward their students. For many of the classrooms I visited, the mentor would grow to become more than just a tutor for the mentors -- the mentor was their friend...On my last day, about five girls came up and hugged me and thanked me for working with them. I think being able to establish such relationships with students makes our mentoring experience all the more rewarding."
- Angela, Former President and mentor at John F. Kennedy High School
Combined Impact from 2016-2020...
"I chose to return this year as a mentor and I chose to volunteer my time because I find joy and admiration in the students’ pursuit towards education and improvement. I learn from their dedication and perseverance, especially those that grow significantly as students throughout the short three weeks. I find their journey inspiring, especially since all the students have different backgrounds and a different story to tell."
- Teresa, Director of Media and mentor at Justice High School, Patrick Henry Family Shelter, and Willston Community Center
"All in all, my time at BranchOut! has been an incredible experience. When the students received their final grades on the last day of the summer school program, it was so rewarding when they came up to me with beaming faces and thanked me for helping them reach their goals—whether it was getting an A or simply finally passing the class."
- Michelle, Co-President and Mentor at Northwood High School
"Mentoring at Patrick Henry has been an experience like nothing else. I have grown as a mentor and established many friendships with both the mentors and mentees."
- Emily, Mentor at Patrick Henry Family Shelter
"I saw myself becoming more confident and outgoing, and I never felt afraid of talking to others during the session, even when it came to telling them to follow the rules...I felt like I greatly matured this year, as becoming stronger in leadership abilities also meant improving in confidence and responsibility."
- Katie, Mentor at Willston Community Center
"For me, seeing the kids having fun and enjoying our curriculum is truly what makes BranchOut! a remarkable program."
- Songhan, Team Leader and Mentor at Willston Community Center and Patrick Henry Homeless Shelter
"BranchOut! mentors were a great support to Willston Community Center and have allowed us to serve more children within the community... From making slime to coding on code.org, and playing golf on the soccer field, BranchOut! mentors have worked with 60 participants daily and have brought innovating projects to Willston Community Center."
- Mary Hamilton, Community Coordinator at Patrick Henry Family Shelter
“We were able to learn everything in the curriculum because we were not slowing down; BranchOut! mentors reached out to every student. The retaking and one-on-one reteaching led students to achieve the grade they wanted.”
-Lourdes Ferrer, Algebra II Teacher at Gaithersburg High School
“I’ve been with BranchOut! for three summers now, and I’m happy to say that every year has been more rewarding than the last. This past summer, I was able to improve not only as a tutor and a mentor, but also as a leader. I developed stronger personal skills that allowed me to learn how to lead. And while I had my fair share of missteps, BranchOut!’s supportive, self-improvement oriented nature allowed me to grow from each experience.”
-Lawrence Zhu, Co-President and Mentor at James Lee Community Center and Willston Multicultural Center