Through his personal experiences and his sociological studies at the University of California at Berkeley, Bushawn Carpenter observed that a vast number of academically gifted adolescents in his hometown of Barstow, CA exchange their academic pursuits for the temporary rewards of street life. Carpenter noticed that children who pursue academic excellence in this area's challenging social environments face two prevailing obstacles. First, many of these children lack the foresight to see the future rewards of their present hard work in the classroom. Second, these children often begin to see themselves as social outcasts in their communities.
Upon returning to the Barstow area, Bushawn began to share his vision with his brother, Curtis Carpenter, who was already helping hundreds of young students achieve academic and professional success. A Cal Poly Pomona alum with over 20 years of experience as an Information Technology professional, Curtis was busy developing and facilitating various STEM activities for underserved communities in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire. But he longed to make an impact in his hometown of Barstow, CA.
It became apparent that Curtis’ dream of impacting Barstow students with STEMinspired mentoring was a natural fit with Bushawn’s scholarship and mentoring vision. After years of prayer and lengthy conversations, Bushawn and Curtis Carpenter merged their dreams to establish Reaching Our Kids as a vehicle to mentor, guide, encourage, and protect the academic aspirations of Barstow’s at-risk children. Reaching Our Kids seeks to bring the future rewards associated with academic dedication into the present lives of these children.