Vision Breakfast 2021

Presented by Old National


Elevate is building thriving communities with 24/7 impact for students in 2023-24

(Last updated April 2024)


Meet Kara & Josh

Kara Simmons and Josh Mendoza are Teacher-Mentors at Elevate Indianapolis who are passionately developing long-term, life-changing relationships with students at George Washington and Purdue Poly High School, respectively.

Let’s experience a day in their shoes as they come alongside students navigating life’s challenges.

8:30 am — George Washington HS

Lesson Planning

The day begins for our Teacher-Mentors by reviewing lesson plans for Elevate’s state-accredited in-school classes and updating the Thriving Youth Dashboard, a data-driven Salesforce program that helps Elevate quantify the impact Teacher-Mentors have with the students they serve. Ms. Simmons, like all Teacher-Mentors, is both a lead in some classes and a support to other staff in their classes.

Did you know

Our T-Ms update the dashboard with student engagement data daily, so we always have an updated view of our collective impact.

9:30 am — Arsenal Tech HS

Mentoring Check-in

Students who aren’t currently in his classes stop by to say hello to Josh and ask about upcoming college & career mentoring events this semester. For Elevate, we define these touchpoints as “meaningful interactions.”  Both Ms. Simmons & Mr. Mendoza weekly message students from their caseloads encouraging them, checking in on their well-being, and reminding them about the week’s after-school mentoring events. Each Elevate Teacher-Mentor has a mentoring caseload of students they maintain proactive communication with year around.

By the numbers

Our students report having an average of only 1.8 adults they trust in their lives. 21% of them say they have ZERO non-family adults they trust. 61% of Elevate students say they have a deep relationship with their Teacher-Mentor.

12:00 pm — Arsenal Tech HS


Josh welcomes a couple of the students from his caseload who are in one of his classes into the classroom for a mid-day lunch-time mentoring session to catch up. Lunch-time mentoring is a great time for students to stop by the classroom for a 1:1 mentoring session or even a Teacher-Mentor to visit students during their lunch for a mentoring check-in.

12:30 pm — George Washington HS

Elevate Accredited Classes

Kara is the co-teacher today for our Elevate Beyond college & career class. Today’s class is focused on learning what it takes to find housing after graduation and how you establish credit to be able to rent an apartment or obtain a mortgage. This year Elevate is serving students in 4 high schools, Arsenal Tech, George Washington, Shortridge and Purdue Poly High School! As part of our 4th-12th grade pipeline model, Elevate upperclassmen teach "Little Elevate" in 2 local elementary schools.

Did you know

During the ’22/’23 school year, Elevate served 587 students for a total of 22,639 hours of accredited in-class program mentoring.

3:30 pm — Arsenal Tech HS

Service Learning

The essential part of our mission with Elevate is cultivating “thriving contributors to their community.” Both Mr. Josh & Ms. Simmons regularly take students from their caseload after school or over the breaks from school to serve in their community, just as all our Teacher-Mentor’s do together. Service Learning is even a core part of our Elevate Beyond project-based curriculum to help students identify community impact projects they can do.

By the numbers

As our 4th-12th grade pipeline model grows, we’re beginning to have students who participated in "Little Elevate" in elementary school or who were mentored by our Teacher-Mentors in middle school.  5% of our students last year had exposure to Elevate before enrolling in our high school classes.

4:00 pm — George Washington HS

Pathways to Purpose Mentoring

Kara regularly hosts several of her young ladies for an afterschool college and mentoring session. Discussions around Pathways to Purpose road mapping material, graduation profiles, and other identity discovery mentoring are essential for our Teacher-Mentors in their caseloads. Pathways to Purpose includes 4 E’s: Exposure, Equipping, Empowering, and Engaging.

Did you know

111 Elevate students participated in Elevate Pathways to Purpose college and career mentoring for a total of 1,333 hours.

4:30 pm — Arsenal Tech HS

Sports & Adventure Mentoring

Mr. Josh, in addition to our Purdue Poly High School Pipeline Manager is also the Sports & Adventure lead for Elevate. The goals for all Elevate Sports & Adventure year around mentoring helping youth to:

  1. Explore new opportunities and places
  2. Expand an individual's boundaries
  3. Experience new paradigms

Elevate mentors provide year around Sports & Adventure mentoring to students knowing how paradigm shifts can occur through these mentoring experiences.

Did you know

Thanks to the generosity of our community, 304 Elevate students participated in 24/7 Elevate Sports & Adventure mentoring during the ’22/’23 program year

5:30 pm — Headed home

Windshield Time

After these mentoring sessions, our Teacher-Mentors often drive student’s home. This “windshield time” (taking students home) is always valuable time for mentoring conversation and relationship building.

By the numbers

37% of our students say they participate in after school events with Elevate at least monthly and 25% say they hang out 1:1 with a Teacher-Mentor at least once per month.

8:00 pm — Kara’s home

Winding Down

After Kara gets home and makes dinner, one of her students texts her about a challenging situation involving a family member. The two of them chat on the phone to work through how the student can process and approach the situation healthily.

By the numbers

72% of our students say that their T-M shares with them about life problems and 64% of students communicate with their T-M at least monthly.

hey kara, can we talk? im stressed about that situation we talked about last week