One of our newest mentors from RehabCare
gets paired with her students

It's hard to believe we are already wrapping up the end of the first month of the 2015! With so many classes, activities and events going on at all of our schools, there is so much to report on. And to boot, January is National Mentor Month! In January, we welcomed many new mentors into the fold, as they were paired with their 8th grade students. A special thank you to our new mentors from RehabCare/Kindred Healthcare. As part of a partnership agreement, these 5 new mentors were paired with their students last week and we are already seeing some great connections being made. These volunteers, as with all of our mentors, are tasked with coaching our students as they pursue interests and goals while working towards a future career. As a mentor to several students myself, I can attest hard work required for the growth and success of our young community members, but it is infinitely rewarding! View photos of our mentors in action, as well as all of the happening in the last two months of UrbanFUTURE here.

Speaking of mentors, I had the fortune of running into UrbanFUTURE alumni student Aquila Daniels at coffee shop in the Central West End recently. At 20 years old, Aquila has a lot to be proud of! While she was regaling me with stories of her success as a practical nurse, and her pursuit of becoming a registered nurse, I remembered her mentor, Doreen Carmichael. When I asked Aquila about Doreen, she happily reported that they were still in regular touch, and it was Ms. Doreen's constant support and encouragement with her studies that has kept her on track all these years! This chance meeting was enough to energize us at UrbanFUTURE to stay the course of our high school programming model which we are making available to as many St. Louis teens as possible.

Just this week I had the opportunity to visit KMOX studios for a on-air segment with Charlie Brennan and Debbie Monterrey, and chat about our work with teens in the St. Louis. What a neat experience! We were so thrilled that Charlie and Debbie took an interest in UrbanFUTURE, and share our interest in bringing together the St. Louis community through the career development of our young people. Thanks again to all those at KMOX who made my station visit possible!
My visit to KMOX with Charlie Brennan
and Debbie Monterrey

Mark your calendars, coming up on is our 5th Annual March Magic Experience! Start out your St. Patrick's Day celebration with a night of NCAA Basketball madness, beer and appetizers, Irish music and festivities, and a chance to win some spectacular prizes, including a trip to the Final Four championship game on a private plane! Click here for more details and to register now.

Thank you again for your continued support of UrbanFUTURE. With your help, we will enrich, educate and enliven our urban youth, and lead them on a path to a career in tomorrow's workforce.


Frank Van Bree

STL Firefighter Irving Moorhead Career Speaks

The first month of 2015 sure has flown by! UrbanFUTURE students at staff at Fanning have kept busy with a flurry of activities and classes. One of the highlights of January was the Minority Scientist Showcase at the Saint Louis Science Center on the weekend of January 17th. We took a large group of students, many of whom are on our Robotics Teams and in our Saint Louis Science Center Sound Class. Scientists from prominent St. Louis companies and organizations demonstrated their expertise, and introduced our students to an array of careers in Science. A truly unique learning opportunity! Later this month, we will also visit the Challenger Learning Center, where our students will engage in a 2 hour simulated space mission! 

In December, we welcomed firefighter Irving Moorehead of the St. Louis Fire Department, to BOTH of our middle schools to speak about his career, overcoming adversity, and giving back to your community. Mr. Moorehead was an inspiration for us all! Here at Fanning, we had the chance to host Nicole Gugliucci, The NoisyAstronomer, who stopped by to share her career with our students and to teach them about radio waves. Ms. Gugliucci is a Postdoctoral Fellow and Instructor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and is a wealth of knowledge about our solar system, satellites and radio astronomy! Thanks again to all who took the time to visit us in December and January.
UF students show off the toolboxes they made

In addition to field trips to the St. Louis Zoo, Steinberg Skating Rink and the ASPCA, Fanning students had the opportunity to visit the St. Louis Woodworkers Guild, where our students were paired with a member of the guild and were given a project to complete together. The guild members showed our students how to use power and hand tools, and taught us about different careers in the construction, woodworking and carpentry fields. The end result was a tool box, and a feeling of accomplishment for a job well done. Many thanks to the SLWG!

8th grader Isaiah Martin
Meet Isaiah Martin! He is an 8th grader at Fanning Middle School, and one of our top academically achieving students with a 4.0 GPA! No surprise, Isaiah has set a career goal of becoming a Biological Engineer. His favorite subjects and Science and Computer Science, and he is consistently impressing the UrbanFUTURE staff with his love of STEM!

Isaiah's mentor is Kristofer Hillard, who encourages this love of science and engineering, and helps Isaiah set goals he can strive for.  His mom is also a huge support, attending robotics competitions. She is very proud of her determined son!

Way to go, Isaiah!

If you would like more information about mentoring a student, contact Jennifer Davies at
New mentors from RehabCare meet their students
and break the ice with a game

We strongly felt the support of the St. Louis community last week week, with the addition of all our wonderful RehabCare volunteers to our dedicated corps! The initial meetings all went very well and were productive. The students and new mentors seemed comfortable with each other, even though it was their first time meeting! We see several strong relationships budding quickly. Thanks again to our awesome new mentors!

This month, we were lucky to have several very interesting career speakers including Daniel Philips (who is also a UF mentor!) of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. Dan works with the Department of Defense doing satellite placement, and did a very cool activity with google maps that our students loved! We also welcomed Alicia Cooper, a Speech Language Pathologist for the Special School District of St. Louis County. Ms. Cooper gave our students an idea of what a Speech Pathologist does, and talked about her education and the challenges she faced making her career goal a reality.  Thank you to all our fabulous career speakers in December and January!

Our Chess class concentrating on their next moves
with volunteer teacher Matthew Diamond
A full schedule of DiscoveryLabs classes are keeping students busy and engaged! A student favorite is Art class, where kids made self portraits and improved their drawing skills this month. In Creative Writing, students learned about poems, and wrote a "found  poem" using objects from around the school hallways. And last, we are happy to report our kids are learning and love to play Chess! It is amazing how quickly they are gaining confidence, learning strategy and thinking differently. Big thanks to UMSL volunteer Matthew Diamond for teaching our chess class at Busch!

We are looking forward to February, where we will visit the Challenger Learning Center for a simulated space mission to Mars! Our Team Leaders have the UrbanFUTURE calendar full of career speakers and other Explore! Careers activities, that we are excited to share with our kids.

Mentor Devon Goosen with her mentee, Sabria 

Devon Goossen has gone above and beyond as a mentor to 8th grader Sabria. When she heard that Sabria was having difficulties in math, she immediately
took initiative to talk to her mentee's parents, her mentee's math teacher, and the INSPIRE team leader to
develop a plan of support for her mentee. Since developed a plan, and made sure the teachers, parent, mentor and UF staff has been on the same page to help
improve Sabria's math scores

Devon has also agreed to come visit with her Sabria two times a week for additional tutoring or just being available to talk and listen. It is this kind of commitment that truly makes a difference, thank you Devon!

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

K'Lashay and her mentor Keshia
share a laugh
Meet K'Lashay Hemphill

K'Lashay Hemphill is a 7th grader at Busch Middle School, who always has a smile on her face! Since enrolling in UrbanFUTURE this year, K'Lashay has only had 2 absences, which speaks volumes for her dedication to and love of the program!

K'Lashay always asks thoughtful questions in her tutoring and Explore! Careers classes. Her positive attitude resonates in all she does, and she is often helping other students if they need a hand.

Recently, K'Lashay was paired with a mentor, Keshia Dickson! She and Keshia have been having fun getting to know each other, and beginning to work on setting goals for the future. We're proud of you, K'Lashay!


St. Louis Internship Program
Through the St. Louis Internship Program we are happy to have several paid internships to offer to qualified UrbanFUTURE students for the Summer of 2015. You must apply for these positions, contact Anthony Lemons at or 314-309-2525 for more info and to apply for this awesome opportunity!

UrbanFUTURE High School Student Spotlight 
UrbanFUTURE junior Frank Sieford
Meet Frank Sieford! Frank is a junior at Carnahan High School of the Future, and was an UrbanFUTURE student at Fanning Middle School. As you can see, he is serious about his success and is soon graduating from the Military Academy in Illinois. After graduation, Frank plans on joining the US Navy, and continuing his path to a career as an Engineer. In his spare time, he enjoys building cars and learning how to fix things. Sounds like the makings of a great Engineer, keep up the hard work, Frank!

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! 

UrbanFUTURE High School Career Manager,
Anthony Lemons, can be reached at or 314-309-2525.


The 5th Annual March Magic Experience

Don't miss the UrbanFUTURE 5th Annual March Magic Experience on Tuesday, March 17th at the Missouri Athletic Club Downtown. Begin your St. Patrick's Day celebrations with us at 5:30pm, as we auction off the top 64 NCAA Basketball teams with incredible prizes at stake! Your ticket includes unlimited beer, wine and appetizers as well as Irish festivities
and tons of fun and games. REGISTER NOW and don't miss any of the action!


1. Career Connector or Career Speaker
Allow UrbanFUTURE students to come to your workplace for a field trip, job shadow or internship. Or, visit one of our middle schools and speak to the class about your personal career path. You can also volunteer to teach a class to our students!
2. Mentor
Volunteer just one hour a week at our middle schools as a mentor, with a focus on literacy, goal setting and character development. Or, mentor a high school student and focus on career development. 

3. Tutor
Help UrbanFUTURE students excel in school by tutoring kids in either Communication Arts or Math. All students benefit from the personal attention and extra help.
4. Become an UrbanCHAMPION
Invest in our urban students and help level the playing field for underexposed kids. It costs $3,000 per year for us to provide the full UrbanFUTURE experience to each student. Please make a monetary tax deductible donation via our secure website - YOP tax credits are available!

2823 Olive Street
St. Louis, MO 63103