Our Approach

Empowering youth by directly closing the learning gap.

We understand that the problems many students face today are about more than needing a place to go after school. That’s why we set out to create a unique set of programs that would directly address the 6,000-hour learning gap, which negatively impacts low-income youth. If left unaddressed, this gap continues to grow over time, leaving a whole generation of potential leaders, and their promise to the world, behind.

We believe this doesn’t have to be our reality.

By providing equal access to educational opportunities and hands-on career experiences, we empower our youth with a better understanding of themselves and the possibilities ahead of them.

Hear from three youth about how On the Road has made a difference in their lives.

Our Program Model

Disadvantaged youth need more than a place to go after school, which is why we’ve created a unique program structure that meets youth where they are while providing the guidance, support, and hands-on learning experiences that they need as they advance on the road to college and career.

Student learning to use a stethoscope to check the heart of a dog with a veterinarian.

Career Enrichment Courses

Every semester, we offer 10-week long Career Enrichment Courses that expose youth to hands-on learning experiences taught by our Community Teachers. Through a carefully developed curriculum and the instruction of caring professionals, these courses empower our youth with a clearer understanding of their interests, skills, and future pathways.

Student being tutored in academics.

Academic Coaching

While we encourage our youth to think about their futures, we know how important academics are to their growth and understand that school is the first place to practice their emerging skills. So each of our programs includes designated homework and tutoring hours to support our youth’s academic goals, in addition to well-rounded growth.

Group of students visiting a college.

College Exploration

To help our youth learn more about post-secondary options and the college application process, we take several college trips every year. This gives our youth the opportunity to learn more about a variety of colleges and universities and begin planning how to reach their professional goals.

Students planting a plant in a pot.

Real-World Skills Development

We focus on our youth’s personal and professional development—including real-world skills, like writing a resume—to help ensure that they leave us at the end of their high-school career feeling empowered, able to make wise decisions about their future, and excited to go after their biggest goals.

So Far We’ve Served…

Total Youth Served in 2019-2020

Total Youth Served Since 2015

Annual Enrollment Average

Every year, we serve more than 300 youth at three local schools in Harrisonburg, VA.

Skyline Middle School's On the Road youths pose for a photo

Skyline Middle School

Thomas Harrison Middle School's On the Road program learns carpentry

Thomas Harrison Middle School

Harrisonburg High School's On the Road youths laugh and smile

Harrisonburg High School

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