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Helping At-Risk Students in Baltimore: The Power of Human Connections

Everyone could use a person to lean on — someone to seek advice from and confide in. But for too many, that human connection is hard to find. That’s especially true in areas with concentrated pockets of poverty, poor educational outcomes and crime.

Since 2004, the Baltimore-based nonprofit organization Thread has been working to help at-risk students succeed despite challenging circumstances by helping them forge connections to groups of volunteers. The volunteers provide a strong support network for students and their families, helping with everything from providing rides to school and tutoring to coordinating donations of clothing and furniture.

“I’ve seen lives changed in Thread,” said Steve, a Thread volunteer. “Some students have very toxic and hectic living situations that their mentors or volunteers do everything in their power to help them out of.”

Most recently, Thread has begun leveraging new technology to further empower volunteers and students. The nonprofit took the unusual step of investing in a startup company that has developed an app to track volunteer interactions with students and quickly determine who might need more support. V&E provided Thread the pro bono help necessary to make its investment and the app a reality.

This information is provided by Vinson & Elkins LLP for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal advice.