MY SISTER S CIRCLE INC

Rating: 4.8 stars   10 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth

Location: PO Box 84 Timonium MD 21094 USA

Mission:

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

My Sister's Circle changes the course of young girls' lives. Through an after school program and pairing 5th graders from two public elementary schools in inner city Baltimore with adults who mentors them through middle and high school and into college, MSC provides amazing opportunities to girls who would not otherwise experience them. The majority of MSC students go to college and are empowered to break the cycle of poverty.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with My Sisters Circle for over five years as a mentor and as a board member. It is a fantastic organization that has made a real difference in the lives of many at risk Baltimore city girls. The MSC mentoring model is unusually intensive. Mentors commit to spending at least three years with their mentees and many mentors have spent significantly longer. As a result, mentors and mentees have deep bonds. The organization does a wonderful job empowering its mentor volunteers so that they can support mentees.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching my two mentees grow from 6th graders to High School juniors whose lives are fuller as a result of opportunities provided by MSC.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hope that it will grow to help more girls.

Rating: 5 stars  

Studied My Sister's Circle for over a year before contacting Heather Harvison, Executive Director. Through website and newsletters, took note of difference they were making in young girls' lives. Feel what sets them apart is their dedication to the girls through mentoring for atleast three years, and in most cases, seven. The girls experience consistency from a caring, compassionate mentor. Might add that My Sister's Circle absolutely gets to know the girls through the after school program in 5th grade and put a great deal of time and thought into matching the girls w/mentors just before entering middle school.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

attending mentor training

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand into other areas

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

I am impressed with the purpose, goals and success of this program. It is a noble cause to help those whose life circumstances are beyond their control. It is a noble cause to save an able and talented girl from getting swallowed whole by the challenges of middle/high school while she strives to overcome poverty, loss, high crime and much more that plagues the inner city.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have no personal connection

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Based on what I see it is a remarkable non-profit

Rating: 5 stars  

I've mentored an inner city girl for 7 years now through Sister's Circle. My mentee is just about to graduate from high school and I am thrilled. This is a major achievement given her family dynamics. She was a neglected child who needed someone to care about her. She said, "I don't know where I'd be if it hadn't been for Sister's Circle."

My Sister's Circle worked to get her into better schools in Baltimore. We provided emotional support during times of abuse and neglect. Sometimes, we provided food and school supplies, but mostly we offered her encouragement and the understanding that she deserved a better life. She vows to get a college degree even though she is now a single mother.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching young girls become empowered and educated which led to better life choices.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase the number of staffers and mentors which will in turn expand the programs.

Rating: 5 stars  

My Sisters Circle is inspiring and truly does provide an opportunity for its volunteers to get even more out of their involvement than the mentees themselves. Through the basic nature of what MSC does, it allows people from different walks of life to gain perspective and see the difficulties others go through - usually involving things the more privileged take for granted.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my mentee has seen what education can do for her and has achieved a scholarship to college - so amazing. Without MSC she'd have no one at all to show her this path.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Wow - tough one. Well I'd make it easier for Heather to gain exposure and grant money!

Rating: 4 stars  

As an educator I am very pleased with Sister Circle and what it offers. When I began searching for a volunteer organization I came across Sister Circle on a web search. After reviewing the website and it's vision and misson I immediately called to find out the process of becoming a mentor. I met Heather Harvison, the Executive Director, and we discussed Sister Circle and it's goals and my goals as well. The fact that I felt as though I was on an interview was impressive. Sister Circle takes times to get to know mentors and makes every attempt to find out if it is the "right fit" for each mentor. Sister Circle connects young women entering middle school to adult women to spend quality time together. It is so crucial to ensure that a "connection " is made for the mentee and mentor. The mentees are from an urban environment that unfortunately holds disappointing statistics in terms of education, crime and teen pregnancy. For this and other reasons it is so crucial that a stable relationship between mentee and mentor develop. It can truly make the difference in the life of a young woman. Sister Circle helps provide the forum to establish that stable relationship. I am glad to be a part of the program and wish more programs like this existed.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The positive effect of the relationship I have had with my mentee was wonderful. We have both participated in Sister Circle events and have seen young women come through the program and go to college. Very inspiring!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand to all schools in Baltimore City!

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

I have had the amazing opportunity to attend a MSC graduation with a friend who has been involved in the program for year, and was so inspired by the commitment the mentors and mentees alike share to one another. Young women's lives in Baltimore are being changed by things that seem to simple to many like stepping on a college campus for the first time, visiting an office where their mentors work, or trying activities like camping that urban youth so rarely get to partake in--all because of My Sister's Circle.

I "dare" someone to talk to the young women or their mentors in this program and not shed tears of inspiration and joy when their hear their stories. One person CAN change another's life for the better, and MSC proves that. I only wished I lived closer to Baltimore so I could be a mentor myself!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Fundraising to bring all women in the program to a tv show taping with Dr. Bill Cosby entitled About our Children at Howard University. Attended a graduation and some programs with a friend who is a mentee.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I only hope that MSC can grow so that it can be replicated around the country and be as effective.

Rating: 4 stars  

"My Sister's Circle" is a nonprofit mentoring organization for disadvantaged urban young girls of baltimore city. They capture these young girls from 5th grade to completion of high school, offering them mentoring services, i.e. tutoring, cultural, educational and recreational events, giving them hope to succeed, otherwise lost to teen pregnancy,crime and drugs.

Heather Harvison, a highly motivated and enthusiastic founder of the organization demands high expectations from her mentors to provide a comprehensive and strong long term(minimum 3 years) relationships with the mentees. Mentors widely range from various professions, i.e. doctors, lawyers,college counselors, financial analysts,business leaders and so on who dedicate their time and skills to these young women.

Ms Harvison guides her success of the organization by the percentage of college /career placement of these young girls which has been 80% or better. Over time, she has added a wonderful team of support staff with college counselors to guide these young women with college prep, placement and career guidance.

I have been a mentor since 2005 and have nothing but praise to offer Ms. Harvison for her dedication and motivation which have been visibly contagious throughout her foundation.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Yes, see my comments above

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continued support for the organization

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer/mentor for MSC for 4 years. My mentee is currently a Freshmen at an All Girls City high school in Baltimore City. Finding the perfect fit academically has by far been the key ingredient to seeing my mentee progress from what could have easily been another teen strategic in Baltimore City for children under 18, to a young lady with ambitions, hopes and expectations for herself that might otherwise never have been possible! I credit this entirely to the assistance I receive from Heather Harvison. Any time I call, any "emergency" I have, I know Heather not only has my back, but has resources that are priceless. Combined with the one of kind experiences the organization provides for the girls, (i.e. speakers, educational seminars on STD, Teen Pregnancy, etc.), my mentee has an opportunity to succeed, that would not have been possible without the mentoring she has received from me, and the resources and education she received from MSC. I can't wait to see what occupation my mentee CHOOSES to do! Without MSC, her choice would have been made for her.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The beauty of watching my mentee grow has been the most rewarding experience imaginable! She has been to a residential summer camp for 4 years and is about to become a Counselor in Training and can't wait to become a real counselor. This opportunity would not have been possible had it not been for the connections MSC has and in particular, the Program Director Erin Cooke, has with several residential camps. The camp has changed her in ways I could never have done on my own.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Updated Website!! Also make a partnership with Firstgiving or some other organization that will allow MSC to have a donation "button" readily available, BUT, with the chance for each Mentor to set up our own Fundraising Page and spread the word ourselves, with our own success stories.

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