Care to Learn Announces New Executive Director
Christian Mechlin is the new executive director of Care to Learn, which meets students’ emergent needs in the areas of health, hunger and hygiene.
He’s moving to Springfield from Maryland, where he worked for the Housing Initiative Partnership, to take the job, but he’s originally from here. His mom, Morey Mechlin, served as Care to Learn’s executive director for eight years, and he served on the original Advisory Council. He also saw the impact of Care to Learn as the community resource coordinator for Robberson Community School. Mechlin has a law degree from the University of Missouri.
He’s said he’s excited to lead an organization that has an immediate impact in kids’ lives.
"We see that impact on a lot of different levels," he said. "You see it in the schools with the teachers, principals, counselors, bus drivers, cafeteria staff. They know that they have a resource that they can use to meet those student needs immediately."
He said he’s honored to be chosen for the position, especially as Care to Learn announced it has met one million student needs in its first 10 years.
"But I think there is a huge challenge there," he said, "because, looking at the fact that this is our city, this is our community where there were a million students' needs that weren't met previously. And there are a million more out there. There are another million needs that we need to get out there--we need to make sure that we find those needs, and we need to make sure that we have the resources to meet them."
The challenge, he said, will be to meet needs in the future faster, better and more streamlined. According to Mechlin, “we can’t wait another 10 years to meet those million needs.”