• While 54% of students with learning disabilities aspire to go to college, fewer than 10% attend a four-year college or university.
  • 87% of Eye to Eye Mentees reported that their Eye to Eye Mentor helped them to think about their future positively, and 81% of Eye to Eye Mentors agreed or strongly agreed that Eye to Eye helped them think about their own learning style and metacognitive skills.




For information about this grant, please visit our Grant Database.





2. Engage Students

5. Build Demand





Y- outh voices

- Metacognition

- 1 in 5






In the media




Contact person for Oak LDP grant:

Juliana Albano, Development Manager, jalbano@eyetoeyenational.org

“Volunteering with Eye to Eye is the best thing I have done in my college career. I have the opportunity to work with the kids who go to my former middle school and give them an experience that I didn’t have. I’m glad to help them start on the journey of self-advocacy.”

– Emily Metzger, Eye to Eye Chapter Leader, Daemen College



What have you accomplished through your Oak-funded programme that you’re most proud to share with your colleagues?


Eye to Eye established a partnership with the University of California at San Francisco’s BrainLENS laboratory, where our Mentoring Program was studied for success in improving mentees’ academic, behavioural, and social-emotional outcomes.  Five Eye to Eye partner schools have already participated in a pilot with UCSF and we witnessed positive, statistically significant improvement in the following constructs: comfort with LD, group identification/solidarity, response to failure (hopelessness vs. mastery), reading self-concept, and grit. Based on these initial results, the lab concluded that Eye to Eye likely promotes social-emotional resilience for mentees.



What’s the most interesting challenge your Oak-funded programme currently faces?


Eye to Eye’s programs are largely school-based, and reliant on strong partnerships and key relationships to be effective. The greatest barrier to expansion is the time and investment required to establish durable partnerships with schools, and then to maintain those relationships over time. Our new partnership approach to target large districts, charter management organisations, and nonprofits will hopefully streamline this process, save considerable time, and allow us to maintain fewer, but more valuable relationships than before.


Eye to Eye is a US-based mentoring and advocacy organisation that pairs young adult mentors with learning disabilities and/or attention deficit disorders with middle school mentees who also have learning differences. Oak is providing core support to allow Eye to Eye to expand its Mentoring Program in key metropolitan areas; scale up its Diplomat Program, where professionally trained student speakers are strategically deployed across the nation to raise awareness, dispel stigmas, and educate stakeholders on behalf of those in the LD/ADHD community; cultivate Eye to Eye Alumni; and offer additional assistance to leaders of its local mentoring chapters.

Mentoring students with learning differences to grow their advocacy skills and self-esteem



Eye to Eye's mission is to improve the life of every person with a learning disability; it does so by supporting a network of youth mentoring programs run by and for those with learning differences, and by advocating for the full inclusion of people with learning disabilities and ADHD. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2.4 million students nationwide struggle because of learning differences; 19% of those students drop out of high school, compared to just 8% of the general student population, and one in three have been arrested within eight years of leaving high school. In an effort to help young people avoid these negative outcomes, Eye to Eye creates a supportive community for young people who learn differently, works to destroy the stigma associated with LD/ADHD, and develops and champions successful role models for students with learning differences. Eye to Eye’s Mentoring Program has grown to operate 60 chapters in 20 states, pairing high school or college students with LD/ADHD with middle school students who have similar labels. Mentors share their experiences, showing mentees how to take charge of their unique learning styles with social-emotional learning techniques including: self-esteem, metacognition, self-advocacy, and proactive learning strategies. To date, the program has served over 3,100 LD/ADHD mentee-mentor pairs, with anticipated direct service to 4,500 students.  An estimated 165,000 students and adults will be reached through our advocacy and culture change work.






With Oak’s support, Eye to Eye is scaling its efforts to reach a larger number of students with even greater efficacy. By 2020, Eye to Eye intends to dramatically increase its programmatic footprint, expanding the Mentoring Program to serve 4,500 students, an increase from the current 1,350, and the Diplomats Program to reach over 150,000 people, an increase from the current 16,000. To achieve those ambitious targets, the organization will concentrate its growth in geographic clusters, focusing first on regions where Mentoring chapters and the partnerships that sustain them already exist. For each of the coming academic years, the organisation will set growth targets for its direct service and advocacy programs and commit to increasing internal capacity to accommodate programmatic growth. To fully implement this solution, Eye to Eye will grow from 15 full-time staff to 35, and establish 30 more chapters.



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Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global, social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, Africa, India and North America, we make grants to organisations in approximately 40 countries worldwide.

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