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Education Elevators is a local program that pairs West Virginia businesses and organizations with local schools and students, creating mentoring bonds and support teams that can go a long way in changing a student's life. These role models just may leant a thing or two from their mentees as well.

The first time Lisa DeCrease met the 9-year-old girl she had been paired with in a unique, school-based business and academic program, “It was a little awkward,” she said.

The girl — we’ll call her “Essie” — was reserved and cautious.

“In the beginning we would spend a lot of time just playing games. And that’s kind of how we got the ball rolling … It probably took her about three months of me consistently meeting with her every week before it got to more of a ‘I’ll see you next week.’ A really exciting thing for both of us,” said DeCrease.

Building confidence, inspiring curiosity, cultivating character—this is the foundation of West Virginia's Education Elevators (EE) program, and it all started with a man who had a passion for learning. In 2007, Tom McJunkin, a partner at Jackson Kelly LLC and a long-time advocate of education, encouraged the law firm to take its existing partnership with Piedmont Elementary School, located in Charleston, WV, to new heights by implementing an innovative program that would allow staff to mentor students. Tom believed there was no mission more important than the education of our youth and that it is imperative for businesses to take an active role in local education.

I realize that nothing is ever certain — especially in the domain of public education — but we have a truly extraordinary public-private partnership in place here and I confess to being very excited about the potential for some very good things to result from these efforts.

Charleston, W.Va. ­ Union Mission Ministries this month named Education Elevators Executive Director Allison McJunkin a 2016 “Woman on a Mission” honoree.

According to the organization’s website, Union Mission created the awards to recognize and celebrate local community members who consistently dedicate their time, resources, talents and hearts to help others.

Our Corporate Partners

eelogoEducation Elevators is a West Virginia based, non-profit organization that partners businesses and organizations with local schools to match their employees with students in need of mentors, role models, friendship, academic support, and individual attention.

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