About Us

UnCommon is an organization focused on Youth and Community Development. Our Mission is to invest in urban students through mentorship; empowering and inspiring students to progress with tools to succeed in life and relationships. Our Vision is to develop a network of students from Elementary School to High School and invest in them personally and professionally while simultaneously empowering them to serve and invest in their own communities.


Youth are under a great deal of pressure to navigate adulthood and give back to their communities-and yet, all too often the education system facilitates earning a diploma, but students in the urban context are under-prepared to enter the real world. Many high school graduates go into debt trying to pursue higher education without a purpose or plan and ultimately become a burden on the state, their communities and their families.

This is where UnCommon comes in. We believe that when we serve urban students by meeting them where they are at in their schools and classrooms, and by encouraging them to foster meaningful relationships, we increase their channce to succeed and prosper. Our programs are designed to match trained staff with youth in the context of mentorship and leadership. Meeting and serving tangible needs is not our focus (our community partners meet those needs). We are creating a generation of students who believe they are the most valuable asset when it comes to improving their own communities.

Essentially, we train students in life skills like goal setting, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, social justice, and resiliency. As students are learning these basic components to a healthy life, we facilitate service projects and opportunities for them to engage and invest in locally.

There are numerous youth mentoring programs across the country today. UnCommon, however, takes a unique approach by catering specifically to underrepresented minority students in the urban context by coming directly to them. Recreational centers, club leagues, and youth outreaches all have their place in developing our communities. However, UnCommon strategically mobilizes a team of passionate volunteers to approach and engage students in their world, in their context, in the place they spend most of their waking hours, the school campus.


In 2016-17 we facilitated one guy’s mentorship group at Mount Tahoma High School. Three out of three of our graduating seniors matriculated into secondary education and simultaneously landed part-time employment.


In 2017-18 we launched 4 groups. One Guy’s Mentorship Group, one Girl’s Mentorship Group, one Leader Academy Group, One Leader and Fitness Coaching Group, and a tutoring center at Oakland High School. Our mentorship group identified and trained 15 students to serve as Student Mentors at Manitou Elementary School. Our Leader Academy Group planned, coordinated, and executed 3 service projects, impacting over 400 people in their local community. Our leadership and fitness coaching group facilitated Mt. Tahoma’s JROTC team to win 15 trophies over three competitions and qualify for the regional competition for the first time in 4 years.