Peter Paul Development Center
Peter Paul Development Center (PPDC) is an outreach and community center serving Church Hill and neighboring communities in Richmond’s East End. They seek to serve, help and guide children and their families stuck in the poverty cycle. The ultimate goal: to break the cycle of poverty by providing extended education programs. By educating the child, engaging the parent and empowering the community, PPDC can give students the opportunity at a brighter future.
Students are given the best additional education possible through PPDC’s mentoring program. The generosity of the Diocese of Virginia’s Mustard Seed Grant allowed PPDC to provide more creative, interactive and educational activities for students and mentors. “With the Mustard Seed Grant we were able to offer group activities for mentors and mentees that involved off-site field trips,” says Director of Volunteer Services at PPDC, Rosemary Jones. Some of these field trips included going to the Valentine Museum and to a Richmond Squirrels game.
Additionally, through a grant from the Virginia Mentoring Partnership, in collaboration with Volunteers in Service to America, PPDC is in its third year of hosting a full time Mentor Coordinator. In just over 16 months since receiving the Mustard Seed Grant, PPDC increased its mentoring program dramatically. Forty-one extensively trained mentors come in once a week, all year long, to help and assist students. To recruit new volunteers and mentors, PPDC has hosted “Magic of Mentoring.”
Families and students at PPDC are broadly supported through community and youth programs. Community programs support families through senior citizens activities, a food distribution program, and family support services. Youth programs begin in elementary school and extend through high school. They include both after school programs and summer programs, so students never stop learning! Additionally, students are taken on educational field trips, are taught how to take care of themselves and attend chapel.
Peter Paul’s mentoring program, which works with PPDC’s youth programs, allows volunteers to become mentors and take a child under their wings. Mentors help with homework and the student’s overall education into adulthood. The program expands every year with volunteers and mentors who learn about PPDC through their churches. PPDC’s successful annual mentor program event, the Mentor/Mentee/Family Meet Up, has allowed parents and guardians the opporunity to meet with mentors, which helps mentors get to know their mentees and also engages parents.
The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and the Mustard Seed Grant impact these students well beyond their time in school; this vital ministry gives them a fair opportunity to set a successful pathway for their entire lives.