Conoce a Natalie

When Natalie was growing up in Hong Kong, as an English-speaking student in a Chinese school, she remembers hearing her classmates brag about getting 90s while she was failing. But at the age of 14, she had the opportunity to attend a boarding school in the US. While she had to leave her family and culture behind, through living with her teachers and classmates, she felt like she was no longer learning for grades, but learning to make sense of her identity and the world. She felt safe to be herself. Most importantly, she lived in a dorm with 40 other young women. It made her realize that when women come together, they are powerful and unstoppable. These women are still her strongest support system today. Natalie wanted to bring her love for learning to the next generation, so she studied to become a teacher. When teaching in Trenton, NJ, her incredible students expressed not feeling safe and heard in their schools and communities. While they were from different parts of the world, they shared similar experiences. This feeling of kinship made her think, "What if I could provide the same experience that was transformative for me as a high schooler to my students here in Trenton?"​

Una Palabra de Nuestro Fundador

Vea cómo la experiencia personal de internado de Natalie la inspiró a desarrollar un nuevo modelo educativo en la ciudad de Trenton.

Natalie se dio cuenta de que cuando las mujeres se unen, pueden hacer cualquier cosa y todo. Las estadísticas muestran que los internados pueden ser un gran nivelador y dar a las mujeres la confianza para hacer cosas que no sabían que eran posibles. Por ejemplo, el 87% de los graduados de internados informaron estar listos para la universidad, en comparación con el 39% de las escuelas públicas.

Pero existen barreras para el acceso y, a menudo, los estudiantes sienten que tienen que deshacerse de su identidad como un costo. Natalie se preguntó: "¿Qué pasaría si pudiéramos llevar los beneficios de un internado a las escuelas públicas, pero sin altos costos ni sacar a los estudiantes de su comunidad?"

En 2016, Natalie cofundó HomeWorks como un programa residencial extraescolar de lunes a viernes para niñas marginadas. El modelo se centró en cuatro componentes principales:

  1. Alojamiento y comidas en dormitorios

  2. Transporte de ida y vuelta a la escuela

  3. Enriquecimiento Académico

  4. Liderazgo impulsado por la identidad.  

En HomeWorks, estamos creando una comunidad de mujeres para recuperar el poder sobre sus culturas, identidades y experiencias.

Our Successes

Over the past 6 years we have raised 2 million to impact 50 students, and successfully run 5 programs.

2017

Our first year • Summer Residential Pilot • 5 Scholars • Raised $97,170 • Measured Social-Emotional Growth

2018

Increasing our impact • Summer Residential Program • 10 Scholars • Raised $106,898 • Measured Social-Emotional Growth

2019

During the school year • Fall Residential Program • 11 Scholars • Raised $269,126 • Improved Attendance • Measured Social- Emotional Growth

2020 - 2021

Through the pandemic • Adapted In-Person Day Program (M-F, 8am-5pm) • 12 Scholars • Raised $444,828 • 93% Attendance Rate (vs. 70% attendance rate in Trenton) • 2.8 Average GPA (vs. 1.3 Median in Trenton) • Measured Social-Emotional Growth

2021 - 2022

Our first academic year-long residential program • Fully in-person residential program • 11 Scholars • Daily in-person programming • Daily in-person academic assistance • Increased focus on mental well-being and social emotional health • Daily meals and transportation • Our first graduating senior, Darae, has been accepted to 9 colleges and is attending Montclair State University on a full ride • A 93% attendance rate compared to 70% in Trenton schools, which are risk factors for poverty and homelessness.

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Our Vision

To expand chapters of HomeWorks all around the country and world, where we can create communities of women to feel safe to explore and be themselves, to achieve their full potential and to create ground-up people-driven systems of change within their communities.