According to a report by the Virginia Council of Teachers in Mathematics, young black
women like Brittany are steered away from engaging in STEM as early as elementary
school, limiting the future careers they are qualified to pursue. But at C4K, Charlottesville youth – including girls and youth of color – have the mentors, encouragement, and tools they need to freely explore STEM. Every day at C4K local youth gain both life and technical skills that make them competitive for college and for local internship and job opportunities.
Brittany joined C4K when she was in the 6th grade - along with her sister, Niedia.
Over the past six years, she has participated in over 400 mentoring sessions at C4K
and has produced a broad portfolio of technology, STEM and professional skills.
Brittany's hard work paid off one summer when she was selected to participate in the
international Teen Summit youth leadership conference in Boston. She advanced her
tech skills, visited the world-renowned MIT Media Lab, and spent time at Google,
meeting industry leaders.
“At Teen Summit, I grew the skills I am learning at C4K, like coding in Python, editing
videos, and designing immersive experiences in virtual reality!” Brittany is now a sophomore in college and is majoring in Computer Science!
YOUR support helps prepare youth with skills that make them eligible for college,
internships and high-paying jobs, including in Charlottesville's own growing tech
industry. We take youth on job shadowing field trips to local businesses, to help them
meet role models and connect the skills they are learning at C4K with potential career
C4K serves local youth who are facing numerous barriers to achieving
post-secondary education and self-sustaining jobs. At C4K, each youth member, regardless of race, gender, or origin, is welcome and collaborates with a mentor to learn 21st-century, college-and-career-ready skills. Every year, we serve an average of 175 youth in grades 6 - 12.
Among C4K members, 100% are from low-income households – in fact, 71% live in extreme
poverty (below the local survival annual income of $28,719). 93% are youth of color, and 25% were born outside the US. All programs are provided to youth year-round, free of charge. C4K is open to youth after school during the school year and all day during the summer.
What does mentoring look like at C4K?
It is collaboration, goal setting, exploration, consistency, friendship, advocacy, trust,
coaching, curiosity, listening, learning, fun. The C4K model is proven to be effective: 98% of our members graduate from high school on time, which is 20% higher than the citywide average for students from low-income households. 94% of C4K members then go on to college, compared with the national average of just 50% of low-income students attending college.
Support from people like you is the reason bright young students
like Brittany have greater access to mentors and future opportunities through C4K.
All our services are offered FREE of charge to the youth and families we serve.
Time and money invested by supporters like YOU made these services possible.
Juan Wade, long-time mentor and chair of the Charlottesville City School Board told
us: One afternoon, I was at C4K working with my mentee, Johnny. One young lady
came in, and it was almost like she was at home. She dropped her books and a book
bag and violin and things like that, and she let out a big sigh, as if she were saying,
"I'm in a safe place. I'm at home." I thought, "This is what we need for our youth. This is what our city's youth need.