Connecting Champions is a nonprofit that asks kids with cancer, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and connects them with a mentor for the cancer journey. Everything we do is research-based and outcomes-driven, built to bridge the developmental gap between kids with cancer and their peers.
85% of children survive cancer, but nearly two out of every three kids suffer from a serious, long-term psychosocial side effect (Koocher et al.).
We’ve paired kids, teens, and young adults with 38 different professions -- constitutional lawyers, cybersecurity experts, chefs, ghost hunters, and many in between. Through our historic partnership with UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, we’re adding a child development approach to pediatric oncology and other hospitals are taking notice. With a proven model, thriving outcomes, and a referral rate of 90%, we’re on the verge of national expansion.
After years researching in the field, we identified 3 developmental challenges that kids with cancer face:
(1) weak family coping and parent support
(2) no space for essential social and developmental experiences
(3) lack of a post-cancer life plan
Our program staff, with their expertise in child development, created quantitative and qualitative measurement rubrics to track these developmental areas. Our Executive Director, with his background in Applied Mathematics, built Outcomes Reporting software that collects data daily and automatically aggregates outcomes for every child. As a low-cost, deep-impact nonprofit, our investment in outcomes allows us to drive impact competitive with much larger organizations.
Show your support for our team and our kids with a Connecting Champions Team Shirt!