Realizing Their Promise

On the Road began as a way to directly address the 6,000-hour learning gap, which negatively affects the next generation and their futures.

By the age of 12, children from low-income families have experienced a 6,000-hour learning gap compared to their peers, due mostly to out-of-school factors, such as access to pre-school, after-school, and summer learning programs.

This gap puts these youth at a disadvantage throughout school and as they prepare for their future.

But we are dedicated to addressing this problem by providing more educational opportunities and hands-on learning experiences outside of the school hours. Over time, our programs help to close this gap while building our youth’s confidence and skills along the way.

These opportunities and experiences include one-on-one and group tutoring, designated homework hours, and our Career Enrichment Courses, which are our unique 10-week-long classes that offer hands-on learning experiences and help empower our youth with a clearer understanding of their interests, skills, and future pathways.

We’ve have had a packed semester full of amazing Career Enrichment Courses, and we wanted to give you an insider’s look!

Take a look inside our classrooms where our youth are exploring some of the many options available to them and getting a chance to learn more about themselves, their interests, and their skills. 


Our youth are learning about Drones during one of our new Career Enrichments! In this course, they’ve been learning how to program simple robots and about the elements of a computer system and computer networking. 

We are also providing a Manufacturing with Molson Coors Career Enrichment Course to showcase some of the amazing opportunties right here in our community.

During this ten-week program, Molson Coors is sharing some of the ever-expansive opportunities in manufacturing, from computer science to general operations, safety, education, and HR. Youth are also gaining hands-on experience with manufacturing with different members from our local beverage company.

It’s been a blast so far and we are grateful to Molson Coors for partnering with us!

 Our middle school youth are getting a chance to learn all about being a College Soccer Athlete, including how they work out their health plans, workouts, studies, and games.  Youth are learning the fundamentals around soccer and the basic rules of the game, and will get the chance to play organized soccer games with the JMU Soccer Team!

They’re also getting the chance to explore various career paths and connect with our community during Magic and Journalism Career Enrichment Courses!

During our Magic Career Enrichment, youth are learning and practicing new tricks that they will perform in front of an audiencegaining confidence, developing self-discipline, and getting a chance to work on their presentation skills!

During our Journalism course, youth are working on mastering a variety of interviewing techniques, as well as gathering information from a variety of sources and accurately and compellingly reporting back interview responses. They’ll also get the chance to learn how to record ambient noises in the vicinity of THMS!

These are only a handful of the many Career Enrichment Courses offered this spring, but we don’t want to miss mentioning two exciting courses led by two of our amazing Community Partners, Sentara RMH and Sunnyside Retirement Communities.

Giving our youth a chance to connect more deeply with the community is something we are very intentional about, but we couldn’t do it well without our Community Partners!

Youth during their overnight Spring Break College Tour!

In addition to our Career Enrichment Courses, we were also able to get back to our in-person College Trips this semester which was extra special after not being able to go during the last two years.

During these annual trips, youth get the opportunity to visit six colleges, including a multi-day overnight trip over spring break. This year, they got to explore Richmond!

They spent three days together, visiting the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University, meeting Mayor Levar Stoney and Chief Eric English, spending time with change agents Chole Edwards and Brown Girls do Ballet, and touring Jackson Ward and Maggie Walker House!

Youth also got to visit James Madison University and meet President Alger, and explore Mary Baldwin University, too.

These visits help youth learn about different college options, what kind of schools they like, and the steps they need to take to apply. ⁠

We’ve had such a full and exciting semester and it has been such a blast being back together in person and getting to do some of our normal activities again. We’ve seen, firsthand, how these types of opportunities make a direct impact on our youth and help close the learning gap that negatively impact too many from an early age. 

We believe that each of our young people have something extraordinary to give to the world, and that’s why we’re so dedicated to providing these out-of-school learning experiences and exposing them to positive role models.

This work is important because, to us, it’s not just about their potential; this is about seeing so much promise in our young people and wanting to help them see it in themselves, too. So, together, we’re working to build a world where all youth are on the road to realizing their promise.

And you can join us.

Every time you give to On the Road, you are helping to make that world a reality by providing educational opporuntities and hands-on career experiences to local youth.

And tomorrow, our community is coming together in the spirit of giving during the Great Community Give. We hope you’ll join us by supporting our work and the life-changing opportunities we offer.

Visit our page to learn more and then join us tomorrow, April 20, 2022.