The Erie Neighborhood House is a nonprofit organization that provides programs and support for families. Since fall of 2015, staff members from Mathematica’s Chicago office have served as volunteer mentors in Erie’s weekly TEAM (Tutoring to Educate for Aims and Motivation) program. Beginning in January 2016, that relationship became an official affiliation with Erie being designated as the Chicago office's volunteer site, specifically working in the Erie House Youth Options Unlimited (YOU) program.
“I’ve really enjoyed mentoring at Erie House because I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know my mentee and you can tell that having the support of the after-school program has made a big difference in her life," explained Mathematica program associate Hannah Fox. "She was really struggling in school last year, but her grades this year have improved phenomenally."
YOU is an after-school program that provides academic support for at-risk youth aged 12-18. Staff provides weekly mentorship and snack donations for the Monday/Wednesday TEAM students and mentors. Every other month, Mathematica staff organize and host a workshop for the students. On February 27, 2016, they hosted the first workshop entitled “College is a Fun Extravaganza”. This workshop was geared toward sophomore and junior students participating in the TEAM program, with staff from the Chicago office sharing their college experiences with the students. Mathematica staff plan on hosting workshops for the students every other month.
In addition to tutoring and mentoring students, staff also host fundraisers to raise money for the Erie House’s YOU program. “It is a delight to be an Erie House mentor and get to know students in our community. Every week the students demonstrate their impressive drive and persistence and make me laugh. It is a fun and rewarding challenge to think of different ways to provide them with support and encouragement,” said Jane Choi, Mathematica survey researcher.
Intersections: Where Research Meets Real Life