REACHing The Top

REACH Memphis first to complete QBM process
Posted on Monday, January 11th, 2016

REACH Memphis has been a staple of the Memphis nonprofit community since 1969, providing high-achieving high school students with coaches to help them navigate their way to and through college. REACH Memphis is the first organization in the TEAM UP Youth Mentoring Partnership (TYMP) to complete the quality-based membership process in the National Quality Mentoring System (NQMS) pilot.

“Completing the QMS Self-Assessment enabled REACH Memphis to become more self-aware of the importance of adopting and executing mentoring best practices,” said Lauran James, Director of Mentoring and Volunteer Services at REACH. “Our QMS journey empowered us to strengthen our program and aided in fortifying our coach / student relationships.”

The Quality-Based Membership (QBM) initiative launched in 2009 through the Mass Mentoring Partnership as a way to encourage best practices in Massachusetts mentoring programs. The initiative’s success led to its adoption by the National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR), along with a second tool called the Quality Mentoring Assessment Path (QMAP).  Both systems provide a system for developing and managing national standards and benchmarks for mentoring programs in alignment with the Elements of Effective Practice (EEP).

“By activating the QBM process in the Partnership and joining the National Pilot, our members have access to a tested and proven method for improving the quality and effectiveness of their programs,” said Desireé Robertson, manager of the TYMP. “By being the first to complete the process, REACH Memphis sets an example of quality that all members of the Partnership should strive for.”

REACH began the QBM process in November 2014 by completing a self-assessment to gauge current levels of quality in policies, documents and program management and forming a work plan with the Partnership to complete self-assessment benchmarks for their program practices. They successfully completed the process in September 2015.

There are currently eight programs in the NQMS Pilot: The Grizzlies TEAM Mentor Program, GirlzLife Empowerment Program, New Ballet Align Mentoring Program, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mid-South, Inc., Youth Villages, Virtue Quest Mentoring Program, Streets Ministries’ Pathways Mentoring Program and Grizzlies Prep Lunch Buddies. 


Harnessing the power of sport to transform lives, the Grizzlies Foundation is dedicated to closing the opportunity gap for children in underserved communities. Learn more about what we do. Keep visiting us here at Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like us on Facebook.  Feel compelled to join the change taking place and make a difference in real life? Sign up at


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