The Focus Center has been building relationships and impacting lives in the Park Place neighborhood for 10 years. We partner with Park Place School, Norfolk Christian School, and local Norfolk Public Schools to create lasting change in the lives of students, parents, and families in Norfolk.

Many students who attend these schools live below the poverty line. Education experts identify poverty as the leading nonacademic factor in our nation's high school dropout crisis. According to the U.S Bureau of the Census, 19.4% of Norfolk residents live below the poverty line, compared to the national average of 10.9%. We believe that every student is a representative of their family and household and we aim to surround these students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and excel in life. 

The Focus Center team provides schools with various kinds of support like:

  • Classroom aids
  • Student mentors
  • Tutoring
  • Empowerment groups
  • Anti-bullying groups
  • Boys and girls clubs

“Our TFC mentor participates in our class just like the kids; she raises her hand to ask questions, and the kids model her. Her mentorship is ending in a week, but she is going to stay next semester as a volunteer because she has become such a part of the class. She says she loves coming into this room, her heart is invested. And if she isn’t here for a couple days, the kids miss and ask about her—they get so excited for her to come back through the door.

I don’t know if she realized it, but once while she was working with a group of girls on math, I saw one of them get the “aha!” moment. I was watching my student and saw her eyes light up when she finally understood the topic in a way she never had before.
— MS. THOMPSON, fourth grade teacher