The simple yet invaluable mission of Randy Barth’s brainchild is to partner with schools to change the odds for kids. Since its inception in the mid-’90s, the non-profit has grown to operate in 600 schools throughout California (nine in Desert Hot Springs alone), helping some 200,000 low-income students. Some students went on to Ivy League schools and became professionals in various disciplines.
“This is a bifurcated community,” the former Newport Beach stockbroker and corporate CEO says of the Coachella Valley, where he and his wife not only own a second home but enjoy a diverse social network of friends. “You have a lot of wealthy retirees and vacationers, but the backbone are the service workers who came here so their kids could have a better life.”
Think Together provides a much-needed support system that enhances the education of those children. “Our daily afterschool initiative is a comprehensive program where we do an hour of extended academics, an hour of physical fitness, and an hour of enrichment in arts or sciences,” continues Barth, adding that the result is heightened motivation to excel in school, which itself yields better test scores, higher graduation rates, and greater college enrollment. “A lot of times, students only know of a few jobs — police and fire, nurse or doctor, and a handful of other things that are visible. We expose them to a broader world view. We create passion in them, so they’ll do the hard work to study and be successful and go on to their own American Dream.”
• VIDEO: Randy Barth outlines the support system Think Together delivers to kids from low-income cities.