Our Mission and Vision

STRIVE (Strengthening Tomorrow Requires Initiative & Vision Everyday) Initiative’s mission is to cultivate positive perceptions and provide relatable and diverse mentorship to Pottstown youth to realize their academic and individual aspirations.

Through STRIVE’s mission we want students to develop into independent, driven, and respected adults prepared to take control of their destiny.

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Who We Are

STRIVE was founded by Pottstown High School graduates David Charles and Anthony Lyon to help Pottstown’s young people achieve their dreams with the support of caring adults, in addition to their parents and teachers. STRIVE is guided by a diverse and inclusive Board of Trustees, while our Created For Greatness mentoring program is carried out by engaged citizen volunteers, supportive public school teachers and administrators, and the middle school students who are stepping out of their comfort zones to create the futures they envision for themselves.

How We Work

At STRIVE we seek grassroots engagement and solutions. Many of the challenges experienced in Pottstown can be traced back to citizens’ lack of community connection. STRIVE has hosted a series of community-wide meetings where residents expressed the lack of connection as a contributing factor to challenges faced in our community and in our schools.

The ill-effects of disconnection are evident in the deterioration of neighborhoods, increased crime rates, increased family dysfunction, the lack of living-wage jobs, limitations to the social determinants of health, and most profoundly in the struggles of youth in our schools.

Fortunately, we have the power to turn this around. Research indicates that a positive relationship with another person can reverse the negative impacts of disconnection.

“My mentor is caring and sweet. She guides me through a lot of things in life, like troubles with people or family stuff.” – Mentee

“This program has connected me with a student I probably would have never met or discovered in passing. The idea of bringing mentoring to students is genuine and genius. Students who have hopes, dreams and goals, but don’t know how to attain them or who to reach out to help them reach their dreams and goals.” – Mentor

“I am so grateful to have a mentor working with us. He is so positive and cares so much about the community. It would be wonderful to have a mentor like him in every classroom because of the impact he makes” – Teacher

By getting to know our neighbors and by mentoring our young people on their educational journey, WE have the power to change the dynamics of OUR town. We believe that each person has the power to make a difference in our community—and we strive one day at a time, one person at a time, to mentor one another to become a more connected Pottstown!

Become a Mentor

Meet Our Board

David Charles
David CharlesCo-Founder / CEO
The long-term commitment of STRIVE, under the direction of David, work to support community revitalization through personal development of our precious youth.
Holly Mackewicz
Holly MackewiczBoard Chair
Holly has a strong connection to our community and nonprofit organizations in the Pottstown area. She has served in various roles including Team Captain for The Pottstown Relay for Life, Past President and Past Treasurer of the Pottstown Trojan Touchdown Club
Dimitri Smith
Dimitri SmithBoard Treasurer
Dimitri is a graduate of Temple University, where he majored in Business Administration (Accounting) and minored in African American studies.
Anna Johnson
Anna JohnsonBoard Member
Anna Johnson is a career Scientist and 15 year resident of Pottstown serving on numerous community outreach programs and non-profit organizations, with a particular passion for promoting STEM education.
Tamara Charles
Tamara CharlesBoard Member
Tamara serves on the Family Advisory Committee for Pottstown School District, to build community between the families of Pottstown students. She serves on the Board of Pottstown Community Action, a volunteer organization whose mission is to empower and improve the quality of life of Pottstown residents.