Brandywine Street Association

WISH LIST: $100: workbooks for volunteer mentors; $250: work clothes for newly-hired clients; $500: a scholarship for 1 GED participant to complete preparatory classes

Founded and supported by local residents, the Brandywine Street Association began on one block in Washington Highlands SE, where homes were often headed by one parent, household budgets stretched thin, young people frequently dropped out of high school, and the unemployment rate hovered around 30%. BSA aimed to change all that, and transform the neighborhood into a supportive, safe place in which to grow up. Its cornerstone service, the Youth Work Study program, now enrolls 25 youth every six months: participants intern at local businesses, earning an hourly stipend and the chance for long-term employment. Those who are still in school are mentored and encouraged by area professionals; and those who are not receive GED training through BSA's partner organizations. Strong community collaborations ensure that BSA is aware of residents' most pressing needs and ready to offer emergency aid when needed. Its newly-planned Community Empowerment Center will be a "one stop shop" for neighborhood families, offering day-care, tutoring, counseling, and employment services. Catalogue donors: you can take part in this great transformation.