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About Us

Children Who Thrive Create a Community That Thrives

At Kids On The Rise, we believe that children are most likely to reach their full potential when surrounded and supported by positive, caring adults. A mentor listens, encourages, establishes positive boundaries and acts as a strong role model to help students develop a sense of hope and vision for their futures. 

Kids Running

Our Story

Kids On The Rise, originally the SMILE program, has been matching students with mentors since 1991 through a partnership with Rural Cumberland Resources. Students who participated in the SMILE program were paired with a tutor who met with them to assist with their academic development. In 2003, Kids On The Rise was established as a separate organization. Over the years, the organization found that students' needs encompassed more than academic assistance and the program began to focus on building a one-on-one relationship with a mentor. We currently serve approximately 55 students in grades K - 12 in Cumberland County schools.  

Our Results

Students who are mentored are more likely to:

  • Have greater self-esteem

  • Stay in school

  • Pursue further education

  • Engage in fewer risky behaviors

Since 2015:

31 students have graduated from high school

15 students have pursued higher education

3 students have completed a Bachelor's degree

4 students have completed technical certifications

Meet The Team

Board of Directors

Josh Stone, President

Stone & Jones CPAS

Bridgette Cox, Secretary

Assistant Principal, Stone Elementary

Current Mentor

Derek Allen

Chick-fil-A

Anne Hofinga

Sage Intacct

Current Mentor

Kelly Thurman

Brown Elementary School 

Stan Zuercher

Zurich Homes

Former Mentor

Mary Coates, Vice President

Retired, Former Mentor

Ben Whitson, Treasurer

Water Leak Relief

Christy Dolinich

Stone & Jones CPAs

Charles Lusso

Retired, U.S. Army

Tim Vandagriff

Total Military Management

Former Mentor

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