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March Madness Emcee Zip Rzeppa

As the school year begins to draw to a close, the UrbanFUTURE team has a lot of be proud of! This year, we are celebrating new students, community connections and UF alumni in the workforce. Our programming has been an impactful supplement to the education students receive at Fanning, Busch and Carr Lane Middle Schools, and next year promises an even larger community of UrbanFUTURE staff, volunteers, educational and real world business partners! The future is bright for our kids, and YOU are helping us make it happen.
UrbanFUTURE's annual March Madness Charity Challenge was held on Tuesday, March 18th at the Missouri Athletic Club Downtown. Local sports legend Zip Rzeppa was on hand to emcee the event, and to auction off the top ranked NCAA teams for a super pool of prizes. Attendees bid on silent auction items, shot free throws on a court provided by Sport Court St. Louis, played games and enjoyed libations provided by Grey Eagle Distributors. The night was a slam dunk for UrbanFUTURE, we raised over $25,000 for our students! Check out a gallery of images from the night, and mark your calendars for next year's event: Tuesday, March 17th!
   The US Navy Blue Angels fly into St. Louis this May
As our focus on STEM programming intensifies, we are seeing marked improvement from UrbanFUTURE students. According to Star Math, 65% of our students have increased by one or more grade levels in Math! We are excited to further our students' interest in the sciences with an exciting partnership with the The St. Louis Science Center and The US Navy Blue Angels. On Saturday, May 3rd, UrbanFUTURE and the St. Louis Science Center will host a FREE dinner with the US Navy Blue Angels for UF current and past students, parents, families, mentors and volunteers. In addition to meeting the incredible pilots of the most prestigious aerobatic flying team in the world, students will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of careers in the STEM pipeline and participate in hands-on learning of STEM related subjects. Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! RSVP to or 314-480-3737 and see you on May 3rd at the Science Center.
We are also partnering with Ranken Technical College to formulate a group of current UrbanFUTURE high school sophomores and juniors to join our SuperMileage Challenge Team! This is a stellar opportunity for high schoolers to earn college credit and college scholarships this coming school year. For more info or to sign up contact


As always, thank you for your continued support of UrbanFUTURE. Make sure to follow us on Facebook to stay connected! With your help, we will continue to work fervently to empower, educate and enliven our urban youth, and lead them on a path to success in tomorrow's workforce.

Frank Van Bree

     UF students learn recipes at Butler's Pantry

Our team has also been hard at work preparing students for the upcoming MAP tests on April 21st via structured tutoring as well as test taking strategy and preparation. We have high hopes of our UrbanFUTURE students, and they are working hard to raise their scores and perform to the best of their abilities!
Our wonderful cooking enrichment teacher Jeff Zornes took his class on a field trip to Butler's Pantry on March 29th and students learned about possible careers in the catering and food industry. They also learned to make veggie and fruit spring rolls, flat bread pizza and chocolate chip cookies!

Our March Explore! Careers speaks included Captain Watson, a St. Louis City firefighter, who shared photos and stories from local rescues. Nicholas Powell, a sports psychologist and professor at McKendree University also stopped by the speak about the importance of networking and strong public speaking skills. Growing up in the inner-city of Kingston, Jamaica, Mr. Powell was a shy kid and shared the importance of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and and gaining confidence. Lots of great advice from our many enriching career speakers in March!

Teacher extraordinaire, Mr. Otto

Paul Otto, last year's "Tutor of the Year," has returned to UrbanFUTURE to teach a science enrichment class! He is incredibly dedicated to our mission, and has worked hard to create engaging lesson plans that stimulate and challenge our students - all of this in addition to continuing to tutor! Paul is truly a superstar, and has proven to be a integral part of our team. Thank you Mr. Otto, from all the UF staff and students!

If you would like more information about teaching an enrichment class, contact Jennifer Davies at

Webster University student athlete tutors

As the Busch UrbanFUTURE program grows, we are excited to welcome all the new tutors, mentors and career speakers who have joined our team!  In March, 72 athletes from  Webster University partnered with us, and have been working one-on-one with students on both Communication Arts and Math studies. They have also been giving lots of college advice, and our UF students are absorbing all the knowledge they can from these excellent role models!
On March 7th and 14th, students from Busch Middle School toured Ranken Technical College, and learned about the many degrees, programs and scholarships offered at the school. Whitney Kinney, a student at Ranken, has been teaching an engineering enrichment class at Busch, where students focus on a new project every week. Last week, students built boats out of aluminum foil, seeing who could engineer the ship that would hold the most pennies. It was a valuable physics lesson and tons of fun!
UrbanFUTURE students at Ranken Technical College
On Friday, March 28th, students showcased their knowledge and talents at an UrbanFUTURE Open House. Kids performed singing, slam poetry, dancing, acting and drumming as well as exhibited their photography, art, metalworking, cooking, knitting and animal knowledge. We had an excellent turnout of parents, mentors and tutors, too! 
See pictures of Busch Middle School happenings by checking 
Jennifer helps Emily set goals and work hard

An important component of our mentoring program is goal setting and creating action steps towards reaching ambitious goals.  Enthusiastic sixth grader Emily Appleton, needed the help of her mentor Jennifer Kennah when she decided she wanted to read and write in cursive back in January. With Jennifer's support and guidance, and Emily's hard work and determination, the pair have succeeded! Emily now proudly shows off her cursive penmanship. Great work Emily and Jennifer!

If you would like more information about mentoring or tutoring a student, contact Jennifer Davies at

Meet Matthew Avery

Although he is only a sixth grader, Matthew Avery continuously demonstrates leadership skills in all he does at UrbanFUTURE. Mentor and enrichment provider, Noel Leicht, notes that Matthew always ensures that students have the supplies and guidance they need, and has taken a leadership role in Ms. Leicht's metalworking class. Students have been creating wire sculptures of people doing activities they enjoy. 

Matthew has recently been matched with a mentor, and has already set an academic goal of mastering his spelling and working through word problems with 80% accuracy.  His continued work with his mentor will surely set him on track to be accepted into his first choice in high schools, Gateway STEM. Great job Matthew!


Washington DC Trip
Our Washington DC trip last year was the highlight of our students' summer! We visited countless museums and monuments, which was a fabulous opportunity for our students to learn and grow. Many kids had never left St. Louis before, and were thrilled to see a new part of the country. We are returning again to DC in June, with 30 UrbanFUTURE studentsPlease consider donating to the 2014 trip on our fundraising page HERE

US Navy Blue Angels Dinner at the Science Center
On Saturday, May 3rd, all current and former UF students, parents, family members, mentors and volunteers are encouraged to join us for a night of exciting learning at a FREE dinner hosted by the US Navy Blue Angels and the St. Louis Science Center.  RSVP to Cetera at or 314-480-3737 and don't miss out on an incredible evening!


Ranken Adventure Academy
Online registration is now open for the Ranken Adventure Academy this Summer! UF has spots reserved for current 8th-11th graders who want to attend a week of classes from July 21-25 on computer programming, robotics, video game design, engineering and more! Check out this video for more info and contact Jackie Rutledge at or 314-480-3726 to obtain our special UF code for registration.


Sign up for the SuperMileage Challenge
We are seeking bright and motivated students to join our team for the Missouri SuperMileage Challenge! Our team is sponsored by Ranken Technical College and will compete in designing and building a safe vehicle that can achieve the highest fuel mileage possible. Our team will assemble this summer to begin work on a vehicle for the competition in Spring 2015. You must be a rising 11th or 12th grader (current 10th and 11th grader) to be on the team. Contact Jackie Rutledge at or 314-480-3726 to sign up.
Join the UrbanFUTURE Robotics Team
Join one of our four Robotics Teams, sponsored by Ranken Technical College!  If you are interested in computer programming, engineering, technology and science contact Jackie Rutledge at or 314-480-3726 and get involved today. 
UrbanFUTURE High School Website
Visit for up to date information on all the happenings in our High School Program. Also follow us on Facebook and stay connected!

Be a career speaker and inspire our kids!

Share Your Personal Story!
Our middle schools invite you to come and speak to our students about your career. Discuss your career path, educational history and how you chose your profession. Exposing our students to a variety of careers gives them a broad perspective on what tomorrow's workforce holds for them. A one-time commitment of an hour is all it takes! 
Contact Jennifer Davies at to schedule a time to share your story with an eager audience.
Become a Mentor and Change a Life
We are in desperate need of mentors. Just one hour a week can change a life! Students with mentors are stronger academically and get a boost in self confidence. Watch our new video and contact Jennifer Davies at to start mentoring a student of your own.

Call for Donations 
We rely heavily on donations of time, money and supplies from our enourmously generous sponsors, supporters and volunteers. Specifically, our schools are in need of rechargeable AA batteries for our photography class, cutting boards for our cooking class, drum equipment for our drum line, and any art supplies for our art classes. Call 314-776-3434 for more info or stop by our office at 2823 Olive Street with any donations. Your help is truly appreciated! As always, you can make a monetary tax deductible donation via our secure website at any time.

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2823 Olive Street
St. Louis, MO 63103