WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Warren-based organization Inspiring Minds, which helps students reach their goals, announced a $5,000 grant from the Rite Aid Foundation.
Inspiring Minds started in 2006 with only four kids sitting at a table in McDonald’s, discussing the goals they would like to reach and what they could do to reach them. Now the organization has served thousands of students in the Valley.
Founder Deryck Toles said that’s when the idea came about to help steer these young students in the right direction.
Chloe Harris, a high school junior, has been part of Inspiring Minds for almost seven years. With college around the corner, it’s been a great asset to her life.
“It’s a lot of opportunities,” she said. “We go to a lot of college trips and I can’t wait to go to college.”
Harris found out about Inspiring Minds through her older sister, who was also part of it.
“I would see her leave every day and I would be like, ‘Where are you going?'” she said. “She would be like, ‘I’m going to Inspiring Minds’ and then I wanted to join then, too, because I seen her in it.”
Instead of staying home all day after school, Inspiring Minds provides an after-school program –even in the summer.
“I just like coming here after school because a lot of people don’t like coming home,” Harris said. “It’s kind of fun coming here and seeing your friends, and in the summer, we go on trips and stuff.”
“We’ve taken kids everywhere, from L.A. to New York City, down to Puerto Rico, and El Salvador and also Africa,” Toles said.
He said their specialty is the exposure component — offering a lot more to the students.
“We offer education assistance, kids come in after school to eat, they have homework help, they have individual tutors and we also help them with career readiness.”
Everything Inspiring Minds offers is free. The $5,000 grant from Rite Aid will help cover the cost.
Inspiring Minds’ goal is to help these students each step of the way.