Our Model

Adopt A Class has a vision of a Greater Cincinnati region where all students have access to caring adults who provide exposure to a breadth of life and career experiences so they can unleash their full potential. Through our mission, Adopt A Class connects businesses, government, and civic partners with students from underserved communities. By pairing teams with individual classrooms, our adult mentors provide students exposure to a breadth of life and career experiences to increase their knowledge of career opportunities and expand their horizons with clearer self-vision. For the adopting organizations, this engagement fosters a culture of teamwork and increased knowledge of our community’s needs and the challenges faced by our youth. Each passing year, mentor teams stay with the same teacher, thus having the opportunity to impact a new class of students; while students move on to a new grade level and experience a new mentor team with different career and life skills insight.

Spark, Ignite, Launch

Beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, AAC fine-tuned the program even further by honing in on grade bands with specific “Foundations” or areas of focus. Our “Spark, Launch, Ignite” structure breaks out the grade levels we serve into three groups.


Grades: K-2nd

Spark Career Curiosity By Leveraging Literacy

Through our introductory program, Kindergarten through 2nd grade students will engage in monthly mentoring sessions with caring adult mentors to explore a wide variety of careers and industries. One hour, once a month, mentors and students will explore careers in construction, public safety, banking, science, and so much more through characters and settings in a series of curriculum related books—many by local authors! Students will then work in small groups with mentors to actively engage in curated hands-on lessons to further explore career concepts of the month and practice life skills such as listening, teamwork, self-confidence and other skills critical to develop at a young age.

This literacy based curated experience has been intentionally designed to provide representation for all students in AAC programming to lay the foundation for continued career and life skills exploration in our 3rd-5th and 6-8th grade programs. Taking a journey through a literacy based monthly mentoring adventure, students will begin to see themselves in careers all around them in their daily lives, sparking curiosity about their futures.


Grades: 3rd-5th

Ignite Interest in STEAM Careers and Beyond

Transitioning from 2nd grade, 3rd through 5th grade students will be introduced to industry specific mentorship with AAC’s flagship program of career and life skills group mentoring. By pairing a classroom of students with a team of mentors from corporate or civic partners, students spend one hour, once a month, exploring careers showcased by the mentor team and their organization. From engineering towers to designing commercials, building bridges to developing logistics and shipping paths, Adopt A Class students and mentors explore career concepts in project-based hands-on learning modules.

Each mentor team will be intentional in making connections to STEAM related careers in their industry. By the end of 5th grade, students will have explored three unique industries and careers in which they can see themselves and their futures.


Grades: 6th-8th

Launch Pathways to Career Success

Through our culminating program, 6th through 8th grade students will continue to be paired with industry specific mentor partners in career and life skills group mentoring. Through continued monthly career and life skills mentorship, not only will students be introduced to yet three more industries and careers, students will also work alongside mentors to ensure they are building tools for success as students consider post-high school pathways. Students and mentors prepare resumes, perform mock interviews, explore career path vision boards, and understand life skills critical to ensuring success in any career pathway. This exposure of a broad spectrum of mentors, jobs, and careers opens eyes for our students and helps them see how their school subjects connect to careers they can one day have – creating a tangible pathway.

Opening Doors: Layering Supplemental Experiences

As part of our Spark, Ignite, Launch initiative, classrooms participating in Adopt A Class will receive additional experiences throughout the year, layering onto the core program of group mentorship they already receive. These supplemental experiences will get students out of the classroom and experience their focus areas in real life, giving them the opportunity to picture their future selves on a college campus or in one of the many careers they are exposed to.

To ensure students see themselves in STEAM careers, in which students served in our program are underrepresented as adults, Adopt A Class ensures all students in 3rd through 5th grades get out of the classroom to onsite experiences learning about innovation, space exploration, naturalist and science careers, careers in the arts, and the importance of mathematics in career fields. Igniting an interest in STEAM career pathways is vital to ensuring our students are leading careers in technology that do not yet even exist today!

As part of the Ignite program, AAC will provide opportunities for students to get outside of the classroom to explore post high school pathways for success with College Day Visits with higher education partners in two and four-year programs. Students will also experience onsite visits to organizations and trade schools, preparing students for apprenticeship programs in the trades, post high school employment, and military to work pathways. Together our program empowers students to understand the connection between their own studies, their future careers, and the opportunities available in the Greater Cincinnati community, launching pathways to success.

Adopt A Class Programming Diagram

Each student that goes through the Adopt A Class program will experience group mentorship with teams from companies and organizations in different industries. This allows them to learn about a wide array of career opportunities and pathways that they can consider pursuing post high school graduation. Below is our program diagram that illustrates goals at each grade band, the focus areas of their visits, and the incredible community partners we collaborate to allow supplemental experiences for our students.