September/October 2015 Newsletter

8th grader Omari in
IMPACT Tutoring

We've had an excellent last couple of months and are fully back into the swing of things! We continue to strive to help our students answer the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" For 15 years we have effectively honed 4 pillars that prepare our students for the workforce: INSPIRE Mentoring, IMPACT Tutoring, Explore! Careers and DiscoveryLab enrichment activities. Through these 4 pillars, lead by our parents and supported by our incredible volunteers, we are able to guide our students toward a future of which they may have never dreamed.  It is a humbling and fascinating experience! 

I am excited to announce the kick-off of our
Sponsor a Team for the UF Shark Tank
student business plan writing competition... the UrbanFUTURE Shark Tank! The competition will culminate on January 28th, when qualifying teams will present their business plans to a panel of "Sharks" from the St. Louis Business community. The event will be open the public, all are welcome to come and hear our entrepreneurial students pitch their ideas. We are still looking for team sponsors, watch this video and please consider sponsoring a team! Corporate and individual sponsors are welcome.  

You can view all pictures from programming this year on our  Flickr page - take a peek and see what we've been up to. Thank you for your continued interest and support of UrbanFUTURE. Together, we are engaging and inspiring our St. Louis youth to dream big, and then taking them on the journey to achieve those dreams.

With deepest thanks,

Frank Van Bree

This Fall at Fanning, we have an array of new DiscoveryLab classes that are sparking our students curiosity - Wacky Science, Everyday Engineering, Nutrition (taught by the SLU Micah Volunteers), Robotics, "Shark Tank" Business Plan Writing, and more!  Check out this video of our Robotics team hard at work as they prepare for their competition in the beginning of November.

This year at both middle school sites, we are using Achieve3000 online software for our IMPACT tutoring sessions. Based on decades of scientific research, Achieve3000's proven and patented method of online differentiated instruction engages all learners at their individual reading levels and constantly challenges them to improve their literacy skills. We've already seen a spike in our students' interest as well as their reading comprehension - we can't wait to see the results at the end of the semester! 
Students study during an
Achieve3000 tutoring session

We've also had some incredible Career Speakers this month, including attorney Kevin Babcock, dog trainer Lauren Turnbull, UrbanFUTURE Office Manager Jadee Wagner and Mark Counts who is an IT professional at Support Cloud. Our speakers always spark interesting conversations on careers, as we learn about their educational endeavors and personal career paths!


Meet Adrian! He is an 8th grader at Fanning, and all around great kid.  He is on the UrbanFUTURE Robotics Team, and is getting excited for their upcoming competition on November 7th. 

Adrian LOVES math, which is his favorite subject. He enjoys all the problem-solving that comes along with math and science subjects...not to mention Robotics!

When he grows up, Adrian wants to be a lawyer. He is excited to potentially attend Clyde C Miller Career Academy next year where he can start to make his dreams of being a lawyer a reality.  Great work, Adrian!
Yujin from Beat Therapy works with
a student on the violin.

The last two months have been buzzing at Busch! We started off October talking about valuing yourself, making good decisions, and importance of honesty. UrbanFUTURE Team Leaders also put together a "Sew Yourself Together" patchwork quilt, where each student was given a patch on which to write a positive affirmation. Can't wait to see the finished quilt! Being a school of character, Busch Middle prides itself on focusing on these core values.

DiscoveryLab classes are in full swing, and we have a couple of standout classes that are new this fall that our students are loving, including German Language and Beat Therapy. Beat Therapy is a music-based community engagement student group at Washington University and they have been teaching our kids piano, guitar and violin. It's been a real treat to have them as part of our program this year! Check out all they do on their website here.

The highlight of our Explore! Careers class was when DJ and On-Air personality Tonee Roper from Wild 104.9 stopped by to talk to kids about her very cool job. She discussed what her day-to-day responsibilities are, as well as what makes her good at her job.  We definitely think we have some students with the potential to succeed over the airways!


Cristina is a 7th grader, member of Student Council, on the UrbanFUTURE Robotics Team, and always helpful and respectful! She will even be helping to tutor 6th graders this semester during homework hour.

When she grows up, Cristina wants to be an author! With her strong ability in Communication Arts, we think she's got all the right stuff to make her dream a reality!


Check out Kiya's vertical! WOW! Kiya is a freshman at Roosevelt High School, and in the UrbanFUTURE Freshman Leadership class. She is a star volleyball, basketball and track athlete, and since the age of 6 has had dreams of one day playing in the WNBA. At 5'11", Kiya's nickname is "Too-Tall!"

She is currently ranked 4th in her freshman class of 120, and plans to go to college to study physics while she plays basketball. We are so happy to have this extraordinary young woman in our class this year...she's got the drive and ambition to go far!

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! For more info contact
UrbanFUTURE | 314.776.3434 |