Central Union Mission is personally one of my favorite nonprofits to work with in Washington, DC.  Unknown to them, several years ago I volunteered there as part of a Meetup group. As volunteers, we helped organize donated clothes into a “store” where families in need could browse and find clothing in a dignified and engaging way.  I love their philosophy of meeting people where they are and helping them along with care.

Central Union Mission is a faith-based nonprofit in Washington, DC, that primarily works with men or families experiencing homelessness, and provides shelter, education and vocational training,  and services to help those individuals transform their lives. 

Saylor has partnered with Central Union for about two years. The partnership itself started organically, a colleague also knew of Central Union Mission and had donated food, which led to a meeting with Dr. Cheryl Cook-Posley, Senior Director of Workforce Development there.  

He who learns, teaches

Ethiopian Proverb

We weren’t sure how we could collaborate, but knew there was a seed of opportunity to be found, and wanted to work together. Dr. Cook-Posley decided to offer courses to their “Pathways” participants (students who are in the last phase of their program) for students to use voluntarily.  Maurice, (you’ll see him in the video) was one of the first students to take our courses and complete them. As he earned several certificates, Central Union Mission congratulated and recognized him, but beyond that, he began to encourage his classmates to complete courses in a friendly competition.  Now multiple Central Union students were completing multiple courses. Maurice had grown the seed of greatness in himself, and started to nurture those in his classmates. 

As you may know, Saylor courses are self-led and self-paced. These students are completing courses, both at a professional development-level and university-level, using their own abilities and drive.

Last fall, the Marketing team and I had a chance to interview their students and staff about the partnership and their course experience. Their enthusiasm is infectious. More than one student expressed plans to attend college after finishing their program at Central Union Mission, and others have either found a new career path or have new career plans. It’s hard to walk away from the group without renewed inspiration, and I certainly had thoughts about what one could do with the seeds of greatness within themselves.

To learn more about partnering with Saylor Academy, please contact Jacqueline Arnold, Director of Strategic Relationships, at [email protected]. To learn more about Central Union Mission, please contact Rev. Deb Chambers, Vice President, Development and Partnerships, at [email protected]