Investing in Brighter Futures for the Next Generation: Julie’s Story

The mentors and role models of our youth can have a great impact on the path we chart for ourselves. Five years ago, I had my very first Study Buddy session and sat across from a shy, young boy. Over the course of the year, I saw him blossom.

My name is Julie, and volunteering with CommonBond has given me a new purpose in retirement. As a teacher for 42 years, I spent my career in classrooms – helping children thrive and set goals for their future. CommonBond Communities has given me the opportunity to continue investing in our youth through the Study Buddies program.

In 2022, 93% of youth in Study Buddies improved their reading level. Beyond strengthening literacy skills, students also have a steady and safe presence to turn to as they navigate the highs and lows of growing up.

I have seen the impact firsthand when youth have a welcoming, fun place to come together. Every school year, I get to witness the growth and transformation the students experience.

And it’s not just Study Buddies – CommonBond also offers Homework Center, field trips, resume-building, and college prep tools. Last year, a total of 421 youth and teens participated in programming. With your help, we can provide even more youth and teens with vital resources and relationships that set them up for success in school and beyond.

My service as a volunteer has meant a great deal to me and is also part of a generation-long commitment to CommonBond. My mother Mary was a part of the Study Buddies program for 20 years, my sister Ann was previously on CommonBond’s Leadership Team, and my sister Mary has also served as a Study Buddy and has been a longtime supporter.

As an organization near and dear to my heart, I hope you too can connect to the powerful work happening every day across the Upper Midwest. Your support means that more youth can receive the benefit of life-affirming services like Study Buddies, as well as the foundation of home. 

 Thank you for opening more doors for the next generation.


Our Impact

Every day, our supporters, volunteers, staff, and community members make our work possible. Below you can view our latest annual report with resident testimonials, stories of impact, program statistics, and financial information.