Not all students in Charlotte have the same opportunities for successful careers.
Founded in 1991, MeckEd is a Local Education Fund, which assists and supports public schools while holding them accountable for providing and ensuring excellence and equity for all of the children and families they serve.
MeckEd’s Career Pathways program serves low-income 16-21 year olds at Vance, Independence, Garinger and Harding High Schools who face barriers to the workforce and bridges the disconnect between students, business and industry, and post-secondary education. The Career Pathways program fosters a better-prepared workforce and creates a pipeline to ensure young people see the relevance of staying in school and that they embrace an attainable path following graduation.
In 2012, RunningWorks began as a way to use running to reach out to the homeless community and encourage them to rediscover the value of hard work, determination and self-respect.
While running remains central to the organization, RunningWorks has expanded its scope to include the ultimate goal of finding permanent housing for its participants.
“At our core it’s still about the health and wellness component,” said RunningWorks Chief Operating Officer Matt Sharp. “Running and physical fitness, motion and just getting out and building relationships during that time allows us to understand what the needs of these individuals are. Sometimes it’s mental wellness, or finding jobs, or transportation, or even housing.”
My grandmother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) when I was a child. Prior to her diagnosis, she was a gifted musician and was always playing her piano at home or the organ at her church. Until she couldn’t.
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive brain disease resulting from the malfunction and death of vital cells in the brain, known as neurons. The neurons are in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra. Some of these dying neurons produce dopamine, which is the chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. The disease affects each patient differently and the symptoms can change from day to day.
For my grandmother, her symptoms included tremors that affected her ability to play a keyboard.
“A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.” – Leo Buscaglia
Having one true friend can make all the difference in the world for many of us, but a single friendship can be life-changing for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
In 2018, there were 41,193 North Carolina students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) enrolled in public schools. Eighty-three percent of adolescents (ages 12-21) with IDD have experienced bullying, which puts them at risk for crushing loneliness and depression.
In 2017, Diamond Williams was a shy teen in crisis. She was young, pregnant and living in a home for teen moms. That’s when she met Foundation For Girls Founder Shreya Mantha and began a new path for her life.
Foundation For Girls began in 2014 to change the life trajectory of vulnerable girls. The organization consists of a community of passionate coaches and gives access to opportunities and the scaffolding for success through its four-pillar programming in Digital Literacy, Financial Wellness, Leadership, and Health & Well-Being.
“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a back bone, and a funny bone.”
Those words were spoken by Reba McEntire, but represent Three Bone Theatre’s business philosophy. Founded in 2012, the Charlotte-based arts organization produces four shows each year with the understanding that great theatre can be a catalyst for conversation and change in our community.
“The show is only half of it,” said Three Bone Theatre Executive Director Becky Schultz. “It needs to be fantastic, but it’s a means to the end of getting our community to think differently about topics that are important … The shows educate you about a particular topic and you leave being motivated to be engaged in that topic and we’ll tell you about a community partner focused on that area,”
Have you ever had a bad day and the first thing you wanted to do was take a nice, hot bath or shower? In addition to providing the basic human necessity of cleanliness, showers serve as a reset button. They erase a workout, a bad day or they begin a new day.
Now imagine not having a home in which to consistently take that shower.
In June 2014, Lava Mae launched in San Francisco with a goal to deliver access to critical services and restore dignity for 30,000 Californians experiencing homelessness and to enable one million new showers around the globe by the end of 2018.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Or sometimes, it’s just one word.
Thousands of children ages birth to eighteen are placed into foster homes each year in North Carolina. Since 2006, Charlotte-based Carolina Family Connections has helped to provide family foster care for children in need of out-of-home placement. Carolina Family Connections is committed to recruiting, training, and supervising family foster care homes providing the best care possible for children who need out-of-home care.
During #GivingTuesdayCLT, Carolina Family Connections raised $1850 and gained three new foster families. But during that time they were connected to a volunteer who would make a lasting impact on the organization and the families it helps.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato
Simply put, music brings life. And the Charlotte Chorale has brought heart to the Queen City for more than 15 years.
Founded in 2003, the Charlotte Chorale is a premier choir in Charlotte comprised of auditioned singers who wish to enrich local communities by sharing the joy of song. You may have seen one of their many shows performed throughout the year or you’ve seen them perform the National Anthem for the USO, Carowinds Opening Day, Carolina Panthers and Charlotte Checkers.
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