Pando News – July 2023

Pando’s 2022-23 Report Card

The Pando Initiative is delighted to present our end-of-year report for 2022-23, showcasing our impact on the lives of students and schools. Throughout the year, The Pando Initiative continued its commitment to providing services and support to students through the PandoKids program and promoting financial literacy and life skills education through Reality U™. The collaborative efforts of our dedicated team, volunteers, and partners have yielded significant achievements, positively impacting the lives of thousands of students and educators.

The PandoKids™ program has continued to make a significant difference in the lives of students. This year, Pando was able to serve a record number of 1,902 students on the caseload, providing them with crucial support to enhance their academic performance and overall well-being. Along with students on our caseload, PandoKids™ impacted an additional 10,000 students in the schools.

  1. Attendance Improvement —  68% of PandoKids™ demonstrated an increase in their school attendance, indicating that our interventions have played a pivotal role in motivating students to be more engaged and committed to their education.
  2. Enhanced Sense of Safety —  97% of PandoKids™ reported that our program significantly contributes to making them feel safe and supported at school. This sense of security fosters a conducive learning environment, positively impacting their academic and personal growth.
  3. High Graduation Rate —  94% of PandoKids™ successfully graduated from their respective schools, emphasizing the effectiveness of Pando in promoting academic success and graduation readiness.
PandoKids™ Volunteers: The PandoKids™ program has been further strengthened by the incredible dedication of our volunteers. Throughout the year, we had the privilege of working with 180 volunteers who generously offered their time and expertise to mentor and support students in Pando Schools.

These volunteers collectively provided over 2,000 hours of mentoring, playing a vital role in the academic and personal development of the students they served. Their commitment and passion have been invaluable, making a lasting positive impact on the lives of the young minds they mentored.

In 2022-23, our Reality U™ program continued to expand its reach, delivering essential financial literacy and life skills education to students across the state of Kansas.

Program Reach:

  1. Schools Reached: The Reality U™ program successfully reached 100 schools in Kansas, spreading awareness and empowering students with practical knowledge to make informed financial decisions in their lives.
  2. Students Served: A total of 14,000 students had the opportunity to participate in Reality U™ events, gaining valuable insights into budgeting, financial planning, and real-life scenarios.
  3. Volunteer Engagement: The success of Reality U™ events would not have been possible without the active involvement of 2,500 volunteers. These dedicated individuals selflessly contributed their time and expertise to educate and inspire students, equipping them with essential life skills for their future endeavors.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our volunteers, partners, and supporters who have played a crucial role in making this progress possible. As we look forward to the future, The Pando Initiative remains committed to our mission of empowering students, schools, and communities for a brighter tomorrow.

Cargill Cares Provides Healthy Snacks

In a collaboration aimed at supporting education and nourishing young minds, The Pando Initiative, in conjunction with the Cargill Cares program, has been able to make a significant impact in the lives of thousands of students across 22 schools with the Healthy Snack Pantry initiative. Through their joint efforts, the snack pantry initiative has provided 2,673 students with much-needed snacks each month, ensuring they have access to nutritious food throughout the academic year.

For many students, the daily struggle to get enough food at home can be overwhelming. The Pando Initiative recognizes that these challenges can hinder academic progress and self-esteem, which is why the snack program is so vital. This year marks Cargill’s 4th year partnering with Pando to help students overcome food insecurities.

Cargill is proud to support The Pando Initiative and the wonderful work they do with our community kids.  We believe that kids learn more effectively when they aren’t hungry, so we are once again funding the snack pantries in Pando schools so Pando kids can do their best!”

Jim Johnson, Cargill Cares Council

Pando Announces Special Guest Emcee

Pando is excited to announce Julia Thatcher, KSN, as the special guest Emcee for Cooking For A Cause 2023!

Along with hosting this year’s Cooking For A Cause event, Julia also provided Red Carpet Coverage at Pando’s 2023 STAR Awards, and various news coverage on Pando stories.

Julia Thatcher Joined the KSN team as a Morning Anchor November of 2021. In April of 2023, she moved to evening anchor.

Julia grew up in sunny Arizona and is a proud alumna of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.

Julia has always had a heart for volunteerism. She is a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service award and during her time in Washington State she served as a board member for The Wishing Star Foundation.

Julia considers it a privilege to now highlight non-profits and organizations in the area making a positive impact in her weekly segment “Here for You Spotlight”.

“I’ve enjoyed getting to know more about non-profits, including The Pando Initiative, through my reporting at KSN. I look forward to emceeing Cooking For A Cause and being part of the event.”

-Julia Thatcher, KSN

Meet Our Staff

Patrick Sehl, Jr.

Reality U™ Director

Patrick has been Pando’s Reality U™ Director since 2017. He loves working with Pando to bring financial literacy to middle and high school students throughout the state of Kansas.

He is married and has 3 children and one cat. In his free time he enjoys watching his boys play soccer, fishing, disc golf, and sometimes trail running.

“One of my favorite parts of Reality U™ is the beginning of each session. The students sit down in the gym ready to go through the simulation with wonder and excitement in their eyes. When the simulation is over, the students sit back down, exhausted and worn out from paying bills and navigating their financial situations. The look in their eyes is different now; the wonder has been replaced with a sense of accomplishment!”


-Patrick Sehl, Jr., Reality U™ Director

Upcoming Events

Posted in News on July 27, 2023.

Help Our Children Succeed

Gifts to Pando support the 1,800 students on our caseload and the 25,000 students we serve annually through our PandoKids™ and RealityU™ programs.