Empowering students to succeed.

Inspiring Minds is a non-profit education agency founded in 1963 to provide academic support for the children in two segregated elementary schools. Originally named Lippitt Hill Tutorial, the organization grew into a citywide service and, in 1988, became Volunteers in Providence Schools. The more elegant name of Inspiring Minds was adopted in 2008.


Inspiring Minds’ mission is to create successful students by providing them with the appropriate academic and social supports.


Inspiring Minds’ vision is that all Providence public school students have an equal chance at academic success. We see Inspiring Minds as being the provider of superior tutorial and mentoring services, educational resources and individual attention which truly affect academic outcomes and build skills for the 21st century.

What We Do

Inspiring Minds partners with schools to deliver fully-integrated student support systems that provide focused, individual tutoring to accelerate skill acquisition. Services are available to students from PreK-Grade 5 in math and literacy. Inspiring Minds efficiently manages these initiatives by using recruited, screened, trained and managed community volunteers and leveraging collaborations with other nonprofits, businesses and universities to make a difference in our students’ lives.

Our History

In 1963, a small group of determined East Side mothers offered to work with struggling students at two segregated elementary schools. Only one administrator, Thomas McDonald, the new coordinating principal of Doyle and Jenkins, welcomed them. He needed “all the help I could get” to raise the students’ academic performance. A handful of volunteers began working with students. Four years later, he attributed a significant improvement in reading and arithmetic scores to the Lippitt Hill Tutorial.
Fast forward, the organization, now Inspiring Minds, still gives students the academic support they need to succeed. Names, faces, ethnicities, languages have changed; the disadvantages of poverty have not. There are always thousands of children waiting to benefit from the individual attention of trained tutors. The sustained support from a caring community makes it possible.