(Photo Courtesy of Brandon C. Ballard)
For Immediate Release: From the Desk of Our Executive Director

Thank you for five great years of mentoring impact. As the founder and executive director of this beloved organization, I have found it at times, extremely hard to process the recent change in season. DonCARES has in many ways been a lifejacket for many of our student's dreams including my own. In mourning what I thought for so long was the end of our mission, I limited communication to those who needed to hear from me the most. In recent weeks, however, I've found my encouragement. 

Over the past five years, we've spoken in over twelve schools, held over twenty speaking events, matched over forty students with mentors, fought food insecurity, sponsored essay contests, hosted block-clean ups, registered students to vote, hydrated the homeless, helped over one-hundred students create resumes, and even connected our students to internship opportunities in the fields of fashion, theater, and more. 

With our track record, I shouldn't have anything to be sensitive about. However, with change comes a myriad of feelings. If there's one feeling I'm sure of it's the pride and joy I've felt witnessing the positive and edifying relationships between our mentors and our most important stakeholders, our youth. 

By focusing on the positive moments centered around our programming, I've decided to remain connected with our most important stakeholders. While this not the end of my work with high school students in North Philadelphia I want to express that I will be stepping down from my position at DonCARES on October 15, 2020, without a successor. This is not a goodbye but a grand beginning. I am certain that in some ways we have set a kind of blueprint for college students nationwide to follow in vulnerable communities. The execution of our mission was not unique but it was undoubtedly supported. 

As we move towards brighter days, I wish you nothing but success in the future and hope that you carry the spirit of DonCARES with you in your philanthropic endeavors that are so much appreciated in our community. 

Yours in Service, 

Donovan Forrest

Executive Director, 

DonCARES of Philadelphia, Inc.