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Why Arbor Dog Foundation Supports Thread


Education is one of our main focuses when it comes to changing Baltimore for the better. We know that, while schools are important to the young people in our city, so is a support system that backs them up when times are tough. That’s where Thread comes in.


“Thread makes a ten-year commitment to them, beginning in 9th grade. Our young people are paired with family member volunteers who commit for one year and work together as a team to support them as they work towards self-sufficiency. Everyone in Thread has a coach who consistently “has your back,” and supports your personal journey. We know that enduring, authentic relationships change lives. Together, we are weaving a new social fabric.”


The People Behind the Program

When Sarah Hemminger was in high school, her best friend Ryan’s family unit was shattered when his mom was in a car accident and temporarily paralyzed. Ryan’s mom lost her job and they had to move from suburbia into public housing. She became depressed and addicted to painkillers and began selling them to support her own drug habit. This all coincided with Ryan’s transition into high school and he ended up failing all of his classes freshman year.


A group of teachers banded together to not only provide tutoring, but also clothing, food and money to keep running water and heat in Ryan’s home. They became his extended family and by his senior year he was an honor roll student and varsity athlete, who was preparing to attend the United States Naval Academy.


Fast forward to 2004, and Ryan and Sarah are married and living in Baltimore. Together they founded Thread to harness the power of relationships to improve outcomes for young people facing the most significant opportunity gaps.


The Success is in the Numbers

  • 719 Students and Alumni

  • 3000 + Volunteers and Collaborators

  • 77% of students who have been in Thread graduate high school

  • 100% of students remain enrolled in Thread for 10 years, no matter what

  • 57% of student alumni have completed a 4 or 2-year degree or certificate program


Arbor Dog Foundation supports Thread because of their commitment to their students, families and volunteers. They are doing the work.





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