The Challenge Foundation is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by providing educational support and opportunities to high school students. The Challenge program has six components, one of which is advising. Challenge advisors are caring adults who work with students one-on-one and provide them with guidance and emotional support. They maintain constant communication with Challenge students and help them achieve personal and academic success.
To this end, advisors meet with teachers and participate in parent-teacher conferences. This gives them the chance to review students’ grades and suggest when students may need an academic tutor. They also serve as an emotional and social safety system for students. At first, most students need help with transitioning to an independent school. However, as advisors get to know their students more, they become a confidant for students to turn to when they are facing social challenges associated with adolescence or obstacles at school or home.
Finally, Challenge advisors provide students with a variety of resources to promote their success. These may include school supplies, computers, or transportation. Challenge advisors may also help secure athletic equipment, clothing, and instruments for their students, as well as physical exams and medical devices such as glasses or dental braces.
Thanks to the involvement of Challenge advisors, the Challenge Foundation has a retention rate of over 90 percent.