For the last six years, you have stood by our Scholars’ sides. You’ve donated. You’ve volunteered. You’ve provided career mentoring. Your support got RTS ready for the tremendous growth we experienced this January when we tripled in size by welcoming 147 new students from the Kayne Scholars program, a scholarship initiative for first-generation college students.

Needless to say, we’ve grown quickly this year. Our staff has doubled. Our budget has tripled. All this has been done to support foster youth and first-gen college students on their journey to get from where they are to where they want to be. It takes more than an increased staff and a larger budget to support an organization’s rapid growth. It takes a shared mission and inspiring values to help staff achieve their best at all times, especially during seasons of expansion. That’s why we decided to come together and reflect on our values.

On Monday, March 10 we held an all-staff retreat. We laughed. We shared stories. We worked in small and large groups. And, by the end of the day we had chosen four values: collaboration, relationships, creating impact, and social innovation. These words embody the principles that have made us successful thus far. Now that we’ve written the values down and made them official, our staff, volunteers, and supporters can use these values to ensure that our Scholars are always ready to succeed.