WASHINGTON -- WUSA9 shared the plight and promise of students at Kramer Middle School in Southeast DC. Together, with our partners at the United Way of the National Capital Area, we are on a mission to bring mentors to the children within those walls.

This week, our dedicated WUSA9 Impact Team brought a party with the purpose to the Kramer community.

The day started with a familiar rally call at the home of the Hornets.

“When I say Kramer, you say Hornets. Kramer … Hornets! Kramer … Hornets,” said Kramer physical education teacher, Michael Patierno.

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A palpable buzz filled the air in the gymnasium. It’s the culmination of a huge effort to share the stories of life at this Southeast DC middle school and find mentors who can help them see beyond their circumstances.

Principal Roman Smith talked about his quest to tap into the greatness of his future leaders.

“I’ve asked for people to come and spend time with you and expose you to all the things that life has to offer. Cause it’s much more than these five or six blocks that surround Kramer,” said Smith.

“Mentors very much matter. And the challenge is that mentoring organizations are struggling for funds and also to find the mentors. That’s where the United Way of the National Capital Area comes in to support that and grow those programs,” said Julie Rosenthal.

Students see the value of having a mentor.

“It would help people get better grades and have a better chance of graduation.”

“Whoever is sad out there, they’ll be able to find someone to help them.”

“So they know they got someone to care for them.”

WUSA9 also surprised the students here with something that they need, but many don’t have: uniforms.

“I think that’s good because some people cannot afford them or they come in regular clothes. So it’s good to have some uniforms,” said one student.

Another said, “today was fun and it helped a lot of people.”

WUSA9 met some people who came out to volunteer to become mentors.

Kramer needs 100 caring adults with time to help their students reach new heights. They hope you’ll see the opportunity to change lives – theirs and yours.