Who We Are

Inspiring Minds exists for the benefit of our youth and our communities. We believe a promising future for our children means a promising future for EVERYONE.

Our Mission

To engage, inspire and empower youth to reach their full potential through education and exposure to life-changing experiences.

Our Vision

To see every student graduate high school, complete college or a vocational school and become strong, successful members of our society.

Our Goal

To inspire youth to discover their passions and equip them with the tools needed to pursue them.

“You don’t mentor a child for a week, a month, or a year. When you truly mentor someone, you mentor them for life.”

– Deryck Toles, Inspiring Minds Founder & CEO

How We Started

In 2005, founder and CEO Deryck Toles suffered a career-ending injury to his professional football dreams. While spending hours each day in therapy, Toles reflected on the good and bad moments in his life - the obstacles that challenged him, the circumstances that changed him, and most importantly, the people who showed him anything’s possible.

Inspired by his memories, Toles began meeting with several students once a month at McDonald’s in Warren, Ohio, to talk about their future. Once a month turned into once a week, and those students started bringing their siblings and their homework. Then one day, one of those students said they wanted to go to college but didn’t know how, and Inspiring Minds was born.

Today, Inspiring Minds offers free after-school and summer programming to more than 500 K-12 students annually in multiple cities around the country. Year-round programming focuses on five areas of IMpact: Education, College & Career Readiness, Exposure to New Experiences, Health & Wellness and Personal Development.

Inspiring Minds continues to evolve to meet the needs of the communities and students we serve, but our driving force will always remain the same: Anything’s possible.


Inspiring Minds youth organization was founded


4-5 students met monthly with IM Founder, Deryck Toles, at McDonald’s in Warren, Ohio


1st annual exposure trip —– New York City


20 students met weekly at houses, restaurants, churches, and anywhere they could


1st college visit —– IM has since taken students to over 80 colleges


50 students met twice a week for homework and recreation


1st IM student graduated high school and went on to college


100 students met 3-4 times a week


IM was recognized by Oprah Winfrey on her “Inspiring People” Show


1st annual free 6-week Summer Enrichment Program


1st IM graduate received a  college degree!


Doubled the number of students served from 160 to over 300


1st chapter expansion —– Youngstown, Ohio


Served over 500 students


2nd chapter expansion —– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


3rd chapter expansion —– New York City


4th chapter expansion —– Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina