Making A Measurable Impact
A Message from Connor Cook,
They don’t hand out belts for making a difference. That was my key takeaway when I began to reflect on the end of my first full year as PowerUP Scholarship Fund’s Executive Director. That being said, while there is no belt I can wear to show our progress, around here you learn that martial arts has a way of influencing your daily life.
Last year we dubbed 2021 as PowerUP’s “Blue Belt Year.” The year where we were no longer considered a novice and were ready to be seen as a leader. In 2022, we proved we were ready for leadership. PowerUP has gone from a trial class for 15 students in 2017 to a program serving 450 students at the end of 2022. In addition to adding hundreds of students to our ranks, we added staff, senseis, partners, and board members to the PowerUP family in 2022.
As someone who has the great honor and privilege of leading this organization, I want to not only thank you for your support in 2022, but also encourage you to take some time to look back on what we have accomplished and ahead to what is to come!
Our mission is to help disadvantaged and special needs kids thrive by teaching core values through high quality martial arts mentorship. In 2022 we continued to provide high-quality mentorship at scale, serving more kids, more quickly, than 1-on-1 mentorship programs. There are approximately 165,000 children in Metro Atlanta who live under the poverty line, and PowerUP has proven we are in a position to meet those kids where they are, and put them in programs to help them thrive.
Our partners in 2022 included Agape Youth and Family Center, KIPP Metro Atlanta, Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, Purpose Built Schools, and many more schools and studios across the metro area. We know that mentorship programs work, but traditional mentorship models can only serve a fraction of the kids who need a hand up because one-to-one mentorship models are difficult to scale. We strive to grow in a manner that not only allows us to reach new students, but to develop relationships with their families and build a community around them that pushes everyone to greater success.
In 2022 PowerUP set out to have 300 students on our roster at the end of the year. After months of hard work and building our program we ended 2022 with nearly 450 students. We exceeded our expectations by 50%, growing 3x from our 2021 student count of 150. In fact, we experienced a dramatic improvement in every meaningful metric in 2022.
What PowerUP Families Say
In November 2022, we surveyed the parents and guardians of 300 students. We were delighted that we received responses for 61% of those students. We asked if parents observed improvement, no change, or degradation in six areas: Self-Regulation, Resilience, Respect, Behavior at Home, Physical Health, and Academic Performance. Over 80% responded with significant improvement or some improvement in all these areas!
PowerUP is a Data Company
We have built PowerUP from the start to be a trusted steward of data about our students. We need to know who our students are, how they are progressing, and what impact our martial arts programs are having on their SELF-REGULATION, RESILIENCE and RESPECT.
In 2021, we served students in the 33 dark blue zip codes in the map above. We expanded to the light blue zip codes in 2022. We added 35 new zip codes reaching 68 of the 92 total zip codes in the Atlanta metro area.
When you support PowerUP Scholarship Fund you support much more than a child in a martial arts class. You support parents who receive a helping hand in molding that child into a well adjusted adult. You support local business owners in the instructors who are giving back to their community. You support a scalable model that can reach into any neighborhood and have an immediate impact.
When you support PowerUP you support the foundation needed to build a successful future.
Please donate now to help us reach our goal of not only mentoring 650 scholars in 2023, but expanding the PowerUP community to include new partners, instructors, and staff. With your help, we will reach our goal of raising $500,000 in 2023 and help even more kids thrive!