WASHINGTON (WJLA) -- Idriis Hill is a junior at Capital City Public Charter School in Northwest D.C. and wants to study business in college. Duane Rollins is helping him reach that goal.
Rollins is a web designer. He also volunteers his time as a mentor with Capital Partners for Education, or C.P.E. for short.
"We have a problem with income inequality," says C.P.E. Executive Director Khari Brown. "And one thing C.P.E. does really well is we can bridge that economic divide."
The organization does that by pairing low-income students with mentors. Rollins and Idriis have been together for two years and the pair just clicked.
"When I met him, I was like 'oh, I got the cool kid of the bunch.' He was fun but he had a quiet self-confidence," says Rollins.
"Duane pushed me to like do my work more. I was like a "b" student and now I'm on honor roll," adds Idriis with pride.
The two meet weekly to focus on academics, but they often get together just to have fun. They play basketball. Idriis claims he's the better player. For Rollins, the relationship has become an important part of his life.
"I would love to be there when he's having his children. Definitely, I want to see him grow up and go as far as he can."
In the meantime, Rollins will be by Idriis' side, helping him get into college and earn his degree-- and, of course, playing basketball.
In addition to pairing students with mentors, Capital Partners for Education holds college and career workshops and provides financial assistance. The organization has supported more than 500 students. Nearly all enrolled in college and 70 percent graduated in four years with a degree.