Education is the prime factor in determining a person’s ability to earn a living, purchase a home, provide for one’s family and help one’s neighbors.

Communities in Schools (CIS) is a national organization with local affiliates that work within public school systems, establishing relationships with administrators, educators, and students. “We…remove barriers that keep students from succeeding in school and life.” Communities in Schools is recognized as the leading dropout prevention program in the country.

How You Can Get Involved

  • In addition to financially supporting the work of CIS, St. Mary’s parishioners are invited to get involved. Currently, there are two volunteer tutoring opportunities at Gunston Middle School, located at 2700 South Lang Street, Arlington. Afterschool Social Studies/ Language and Science Tutors; Mon. 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
  • Help 8th-grade students in danger of repeating a grade as well as those preparing for SOL tests. Tutors are matched with a maximum of three students. Homework Club Tutors Tues. & Wed. 2:30-4:00 p.m. Tutors may choose among four subject stations to provide assistance: math; science; social studies, reading/writing.

Dream Project empowers students who have been educated through free public high school but who may be stalled in pursuing college because they lack U.S. citizenship documentation. Without such documentation, these students are ineligible for any federal or Virginia need-based grants and loans to help pay for the higher education. Dream Project uses a combination of scholarships, mentoring, family engagement, and advocacy to assist such students. Ninety percent of Dream Project participants complete their degree.

How You Can Get Involved

  • Mentor Northern Virginia high school seniors to help them prepare for and apply to college. The mentoring program meets on Wednesdays, from 5:00-7:00 (except holidays) in Arlington from October – April. Email for questions or fill out the Mentor Interest form. Please note that mentors will need to submit to a background check.
  • Network with Dream Project scholars and alumni at the Alumni Mixer, an annual event where we invite all of our newly graduated Scholars to network with seasoned professionals in our community.  If you would like to help a Dreamer start their career, come to our Mixer to talk to an alum about how they can break into your field! Fill out the volunteer intake form:
  • Help score written applications to determine which applicants will be interviewed and to participate in interviewing the candidates. Scholarship applications are posted in February/March and are due in April/May. Fill out the volunteer intake form: