Four years ago researchers on the Equality of Opportunity Project released a landmark study entitled “Where is the Land of Opportunity? The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States”. The study was the first with enough data to compare income mobility across different metropolitan areas of the country. One piece of data stood out as particularly important to those of us who call Charlotte home.
among 50 of the largest U.S. cities, Charlotte ranked 50th in economic mobility.
Our city was devastated... and ashamed. How is it possible that a child born into poverty in Charlotte has a lower chance of rising to the top than a child born into poverty in any other major city in America? How did we get here, and how can we turn that statistic around?
In response to those pressing questions, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force was born.
In 2015 this 20-member team set out to investigate why the odds of moving out of poverty are so low for children born in our county and, based on their findings, recommend a plan of action to change the situation. Across 18 months they met with more than 50 national, regional and local experts and considered the input of thousands of community members in order to better understand the complex issues that impact generational poverty and access to opportunity here in Charlotte.
After much deliberation and fierce debate, the Task Force released their official report in Spring 2017.
When it comes to justice, Watershed’s desire has always been to play a part in uncovering, confronting and transforming the broken systems in society that create human suffering. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Task Force has now offered our entire city a unified way forward in that pursuit.
THEY HAVE UNCOVERED The broken systems.
Now it’s our job to JOIN THE CITY in confronting and transforming them.
The Task Force has specifically called upon the faith community of Charlotte to build, train and coordinate an “army” of community volunteers committed to connecting more children, youth and families to knowledge, resources and opportunities.
For eight years, Watershed has been sending volunteers into some of our city’s most economically disadvantaged schools to tutor and mentor students through our Catapult initiative. We’re convinced that quality education is critical to breaking the cycle of poverty. We also believe that relationships and connectivity are crucial to helping people rise. Tutoring is an opportunity to offer students and their families increased access to both.
Watershed, we don’t have to change what we’ve been doing… but we can do it with a renewed sense of purpose, passion and conviction. We need you to JOIN THE CITY in this effort to transform Charlotte into a place where EVERYBODY has the opportunity to rise.
This year we’re excited to offer tutoring opportunities at three local schools!
In addition to our existing partnerships with Walter G. Byers and Shamrock Gardens, we’ll be launching a third school partnership at Billingsville Elementary. Billingsville is less than two miles from Watershed’s new home in Chantilly. We’re looking forward to extending love and support to another neighboring school!
We have tutoring options every day of the week, 7:30AM-4PM.
No education experience is necessary! There are options to tutor in reading or in math. We also have opportunities to mentor students through programs like Girls on the Run and AVID (for middle schoolers). Finally, we're proud to offer staff support to the hard-working educators on the front Iines of students' lives each and every day.