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United Way's Success After 6

Celebrating National Mentoring Month

Maggie Kearns

January 26, 2017

January is National Mentor Month

National Mentor Month is a large scale mentoring campaign that runs nationwide each year.  Supported by MENTOR and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Mentor Month is all about reflecting on the relationships mentoring has created and the incredible impact it has.  ms consultants takes part in multiple mentoring programs and wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the commitment of our employees to give back to the communities around them.

United Way Success After 6

The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley launched Success After 6 in September 2015. The program is designed to bring both school and community resources together to provide students with extended academic, health, and social services as well as social and emotional development. The program supports students in kindergarten through third grade with tutoring, supplemental programming, and after-school support through the local YMCA. Success After 6’s goals for this program and their students includes improving reading levels, increased parent/guardian involvement, improved attendance, and to provide food and transportation for participants. 


ms Youngstown employees Ray Briya, Anthony Hayek, and Phyllis Schaab (shown in the photos above) regularly volunteer their time to this program, working with different elementary grades each month. They spend time with these students playing games and giving quizzes with prizes and snacks.

Project MORE (Mentoring in Ohio for Reading Excellence)

The overarching mission of Project MORE is to help every student maximize his or her reading potential. Specifically, they hope to demonstrate that with a structured program, students with disabilities can significantly improve their reading skills. Their second goal is to increase the number of students with disabilities who pass the reading achievement tests each year. Project MORE pairs a student with a mentor and the pair meet one-on-one four times a week for thirty minute sessions.  Project MORE began in 1999 and has since demonstrated statistically significant results that its programs have real results for students! The program not only has significant success with students who have disabilities but also with students who are at-risk for reading failure.


ms Youngstown employees volunteer a few lunch hours per week at the Taft School to this program. 

Young Women’s Mentorship program

The Young Women’s Mentorship program, supported by The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, supports young women in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades by promoting academic success and on-time graduation. Young Women’s Mentorship program focuses on the development of leadership skills, positive thinking, and educational preparation. Throughout the 24 week program the young women are paired up with a local mentor and are guided to personal enrichment and achievement. The first half of the program is known as Vision Pursue which focuses in on concentration, mindfulness, and positive thinking. The second half, Junior Achievement, teaches the girls about budgets, life decisions, education, and much more!  


ms consultants has been involved in this program for a couple of years. Originally getting involved through an active employee, now a number of ms employees regularly volunteer their time to this program. Annissa Neider, an architect at ms Youngstown, said “It’s so rewarding when you see the girl’s face light up when they see you walk in. Most of them are so excited to tell you about their day, their friends or what’s going on in their life. I think I take as much out of the program that they do.”

ASCE Central Ohio STEM Expo

The ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) Central Ohio STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) Expo brings local STEM professionals, educators, and organizations together to educate children from kindergarten through eighth grade. Kids are exposed to science, technology, engineering, and math through many interactive activities and games. Last year, over 450 students attended the Expo to explore over 30 different interactive activities.


The ms team tries to create activities which get the students thinking about and engaging with the scientific method. Some of the past activities created by our staff include marble roller coasters, marshmallow toothpick towers, non-Newtonian fluid on speakers, balloon rocket cars, and battery powered light sabers!


If you would like to learn more about balloon rocket cars, click here, to see the poster we brought with us to the expo that year! ms will also be participating in the 2017 ASCE Central Ohio STEM Expo.


John Patton, an engineer at ms Columbus, says “Obviously, the best part is getting to work with the kids and having them actually show a major interest in the activity we put together. It’s a fun and gratifying experience.”


Have a mentoring opportunity for ms consultants? Contact Krystal Paisley at to get us involved!