What is the SOAR?
Through an innovative profile-based website, SOAR empowers students to work with their teachers and market their academic potential as a means of funding educational resources and opportunities.
SOAR is an online fund raising network that profiles the work of deserving Baltimore City Students, and connects them with donors interested in helping them fund the necessary costs of advancing their education such as supplies, textbooks, computers, camps, prep courses and other resources.
How does SOAR work?
SOAR works by following these steps:
- Student, with the assistance of their teacher, creates a student profile on SOAR website. Student attaches picture, writes a biography, attaches academic documents (i.e. report card, essays, SAT/ACT scores, etc.) and expresses their need for an educational product or service. Student profile is not available to the public at this point in the process.
- Teacher collects SOAR student disclosure form from the parent/legal guardian of student.
- Teacher activates student profile and makes it available to public donors by attaching a letter of recommendation on the student profile and by inputting a teacher password that was provided by SOAR. Teachers are able to acquire this password through email domain recognition.
- Individual donors view student profile on SOAR website and submit a donation to SOAR on behalf of that student.
- Donors are continuously updated on how their funds were dispersed and what product or service was funded for a student. Donors are updated through mandatory student thank you letters.
Are my donations tax-deductible?
Yes. SOAR is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit with the IRS. All donations are tax-deductible.
How do I know that my donation is funding a legitimate need for a specific student?
- Student profiles are directly linked to teacher accounts. Teachers who have a Baltimore City Public Schools email address ( @bcps.k12.md.us) are able to register a teacher account with SOAR.
- Teacher Recommendation- Teacher must attach a letter of recommendation to show support for why the student is in true need of a specific product or service.
- Teacher Password- Before the student profile is activated and made available to the public, the teacher verifies the student profile and activates it by inputting their SOAR password.
- Products are delivered to teachers at their schools so that they can distribute them to their students. Students will be able to participate in service-oriented programs (i.e. camps) by using a SOAR giftcard. This SOAR giftcard will be specific to the vendor, service and price.
- Students and teachers are prompted five times within a thirty day period to write a thank you letter and post it to their profile page.
What does the ideal student profile include?
SOAR will frequently post a "featured student profile" on our homepage. Please continue to view the "featured student profile" to learn how to create a strong student profile on the SOAR platform.
As a student trying to self-market their strengths and acquire educational funding, the following items would significantly strengthen their profile:
- Picture of student
- Well-written student biography that includes: where they're from, their academic passions,favorite part of school, an explanation of why they are requesting money for their selected product/service, and an explanation of why they stand out amongst the rest of their class.
- Attached Documentation: Report Cards, ACT/SAT Scores, Essays, Classroom Tests/Assessments, Pictures of Students Engaging in Projects. Please remove the last name of the student, first name of the teacher, and the name of the specific school that the student attends.
- A well-written teacher recommendation for the student.
Is there anyway a teacher or student can be removed from the SOAR platform? What are the teacher and student responsibilities once a student project is funded?
Yes, students and teachers can be removed from the SOAR platform if they do not comply with a set of easy-to-follow guidelines. SOAR values individual donors who want to support specific students. The teacher and student will be prompted five times to write a thank you letter once a student project is funded. If the teacher and student do not post this mandatory thank you letter on the student profile, they will be removed from the SOAR platform.
How can I obtain a copy of the required consent form?
Download a copy of the consent form here.