Since 2002, over 1300 students at Burton Elementary have been mentored in partnership with Kids Hope USA. In 2013, the program expanded beyond the Kids Hope's model to Burton Middle School, allowing existing relationships to continue resulting in a greater impact. In 2015, the Community Partnership Program was added to Affinity's dynamic model, creating the capacity to open the Southwest Community Campus site.
Then in 2016, with 14 years of experience and a vision to broaden the impact--Affinity Mentoring became an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization. This expansion allows for increased engagement with additional schools and community partners, like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Gordon Food Service, LinkedUp Grand Rapids, Mars Hill Bible Church and Senior Neighbors--which means more students being supported in achieving their full potential.
Yet, Affinity's unique model goes beyond the basic mentoring model to link the administration, staff, and parents at each school with the community. Working together with Community School Leadership Teams and the Kent County Mentoring Collaborative, Affinity is able to not only nurture students, but foster a positive environment where families feel comfortable, engaged and supported.