When gang violence in 1994 threatened a Costa Mesa, California neighborhood, Randy Barth worked alongside community members to create a safe place for children to go after school. What began as a local tutoring site grew to become Think Together, a statewide organization serving over 150,000 kids in low-income communities.
“Think Together provides daily comprehensive afterschool programs that offer expanded academics in language arts, math, homework help, and physical fitness,” as well as science and coding, says founder and CEO Randy Barth, a former Wall Street stockbroker and corporate CEO whose financial skills were key in expanding the nonprofit’s reach.
The organization’s affiliate, Orenda Education, has been working with Palm Springs Unified School District since 2016 on professional development for teachers and administrators. Think Together after school programs launch this year and a new regional office in Palm Springs will create 120 new local jobs. Barth says, as we put down our roots here, we would love to expand into Desert Sands and Coachella Valley school districts.”
Barth bought a vacation home in 2016 in Indian Wells, where he and his wife enjoy the sunshine, golf, hiking and socializing. “It’s a wonderful playground.”
He says the most rewarding aspect of his work has been seeing the program’s kids “grow up to achieve their own American dream. We have a Harvard graduate. We have a medical school graduate, who’s a doctor in Irvine now. We have a two-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer. We have architects, engineers, teachers. We’ve seen the support system work.”
VIDEO: Randy Barth talks about launching Think Together in Palm Springs.