Connecting the dots: Words from our Executive Director, Sabrina Gilchrist

Here we stand at a point of connection between what has been, and what will be. We look back on this year with gratitude for our resilience, relationships formed and expanded, and lessons learned. We’ve reached the point in the year when we breathe deeply a sigh of relief, celebrating our students who’ve earned their high school diploma. We applaud our students who’ve moved on to the next grade level. We “hi-5” our students who’ve somehow managed to navigate an unprecedented school year. We stand grateful for, well, standing – as a community, as an agency, and as RMFY family. We celebrate that we’ve survived.

Now the questions are:  Where do we go from here? What do we do now?

Steve Jobs once said: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”  With that in mind, RMFY is currently undergoing an organization assessment to help us find and connect the dots that are critical to answering those questions. We’re seeking to better understand our partnerships, our programmatic strides, our students and families, and ourselves. The dots from our past show us that RMFY is a youth-serving agency of impact, one in which our students, families, partners and donors value. The dots from our past show us that RMFY is in high demand in both Mecklenburg County and surrounding counties. Dots from our past, in context of the current challenges brought about by the pandemic, recent civil unrest, and increasing mental health and emotional support needs of our children, show us that now is the time for RMFY to expand into more schools and communities. For more than a decade, we’ve served over 1,000 children annually with the following outcomes:  98% graduation/promotion rate; 82% RMFY students attend school regularly; 80% RMFY students improve behavior; 99% RMFY seniors graduate high school; and 83% continue their education in community, 4-year or trade schools, enlist in the military, and/or enter the workforce. We’re connecting a lot of dots from our 32 year history. In doing so, we’re using those lessons learned to project a bigger and brighter future for RMFY. We now visualize what we want for our tomorrow as an agency and vital part of our community.

Visualization in its simplest term is an act of picturing something you want in your mind before it happens.  We visualize RMFY as a national organization, reputable for our high quality, high impact programs. We visualize RMFY as an agency with chapters throughout North Carolina and surrounding states, serving and guiding some of our most vulnerable and underserved children toward success in school and life. We visualize RMFY doing more and reaching more kids at this critical point in history.  Now is the time to take our impact, and spread it to more children in need of our services. However, we can’t expand without supporters like you.

Please consider investing in children through Right Moves For Youth before June 30, 2021.  Your gift impacts the lives of children right here in Mecklenburg County, and strengthens the foundation for RMFY to reach children beyond who need us as well. Give today and let me thank you in advance for helping us connect the dots of our past, and bring to life the vision for our future.