Who We Are

Our Mission

The mission of the Education Elevators program is to elevate the abilities and aspirations of students to make them more confident in themselves and more receptive to learning.

To make our mission possible, the Education Elevators program connects a West Virginia-based business or organization with a local elementary school to create a mutually beneficial partnership. Volunteers ("Elevators") from the partner business mentor students in need of the one-on-one attention who attend the partner school.

By impacting individual students, we respond to fundamental needs in our communities.

Education Elevators is designed to facilitate and support meaningful mentoring partnerships of businesses and organizations with local elementary schools.

The program is founded on the proven benefits of mentoring  and the reality that developing mentoring partnerships makes a positive, transformational impact on the students mentored and on our communities.

Addressing Community Need

Some alarming statistics point to the ongoing, critical need for the mentoring partnerships fostered by Education Elevators: 

  • West Virginia has the second highest number of kids in foster care in the nation. (17.8 per 1000 youth).   Due to the opioid crisis, the number of kids in foster care has increased 45% in the past 8 years (over 300% higher than the national average).
  • One in 10 West Virginia children has the traumatic experience of having a parent incarcerated at some point during their youth
  • West Virginia is ranked 6th for the most underprivileged states for youth based on a combo score of socio-economic/welfare rank, health rank and education rank.

Communities Benefit

ee whoware2022Our mentoring partnerships give businesses, organizations, and Elevators many opportunities to “shine,” and yet, the long-term improvement of our communities is the primary reason that Education Elevators exists! So, what are some of the benefits to our communities?

For our students, the Education Elevators program:

  • builds self-esteem and self-confidence
  • improves academic performance and attitude towards school while elevating educational aspirations
  • enhances communication and social skills
  • encourages better behavior, both at home and at school
  • strengthens relationships with parents, teachers, and peers
  • improves overall decision-making skills
  • enhances sense of self and future by improving overall emotional well-being

And for our local schools, the Education Elevators program:

  • allows schools to advance their educational mission by providing much-needed, one-on-one time with students
  • offers valuable exposure to the business community and opportunities for student engagement outside the classroom
  • promotes student learning and engagement
  • provides funds and additional resources that support the schools’ missions

We invite you to join us in our pursuit to improve communities through the development of elevating partnerships!

The Education Elevators Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

Our History

In 2007, Tom McJunkin, a partner at the law firm Jackson Kelly and a long-time advocate of education, encouraged the firm to take their existing partnership with Piedmont Elementary School to a new level by implementing an innovative program that would allow attorneys and staff from the firm to mentor students at Piedmont.

The idea came from a Local School Improvement Council (LSIC) meeting where McJunkin asked what more his firm could do for Piedmont. The response was simple: What Piedmont needed was more caring adults spending one-on-one time with students.

McJunkin, a dedicated father of three children, knew that to succeed, children's belief in themselves had to be regularly nurtured and they had to have aspirations. He believed that there was no mission more important than the education of our youth and agreed with the LSIC that it was imperative for businesses to take a more active role in local education.

With those ideas in mind, McJunkin developed the Education Elevators program, offering businesses a cost-effective way to be part of the solution. In his program design, McJunkin conveyed to businesses his understanding that by providing the human capital to support, inspire and “elevate” students, businesses could have a positive impact on communities and make a real investment in our future.

Since McJunkin’s untimely death in 2011, schools and businesses throughout West Virginia have embraced the Education Elevators program with remarkable success. The program continues to spread, enhancing young lives and entire communities.

“If the business community fails to become actively involved to help public education succeed, in less than two decades the American economy will run out of its most essential energy source – human energy.”

Tom McJunkin, Founder


  • Program was founded by Thomas McJunkin as part of the partnership between Jackson Kelly and Piedmont. (JKEEP)



  • First Elevator -Student Visit was on Jan. 30th 2008.
  • JKEEP Received the first ever community service award from Board of Ed.


  • Established Board of Directors
  • Created Tom McJunkin Memorial Library and a Dedicated Elevator space at
  • Changed name from JKEEP to “Education Elevators Foundation”
  • Launched website



  • Obtained 501(c)(3) status on Feb. 26th 2013
  • Joined Forces with the Education Alliance to expand program to Tuscarora and
    Bunker Hill Elementary in Berkeley County in partnership with the Air National
  • Partnered with Shepherd Poverty Program to create an Internship program.
  • Launched Positive Youth Development Newsletter to Elevators


  • Launched new EE program between Energy Corporation of America (ECA) and
    Chamberlin Elementary
  • Launched program between Pre-Law Club at WVSU and Grandview Elementary
  • Partnered with Generation Charleston as a source of Elevators.
  • Partnered with Keep Your Faith Corporation (KYFC) to establish first annual Student Wellness Day event.



  • Launched new EE program between Columbia Pipeline Group (CPG) (now Transcanada) and Edgewood Elementary
  • Launched partnership with West Virginia Extension for Internship program
  • Organized Second Annual Student Wellness Day
  • Hired first program staff members


  • Executive Director, Allison McJunkin, receives Woman on a Mission Award for




  • Launch Partnership between Piedmont and Suttle Stalnaker


  • Celebrated ten year anniversary with Keynote Speaker, Gordon Gee
  • Launched Partnership between Potesta & Associates and Kanawha City



  • Launched partnership between Advantage Tech and ProKids Elementary School
  • Launched partnership between Orders Construction and Central Elementary
  • Launched partnership between Steptoe & Johnson and the Mary C. Snow
    afterschool site of the Bob Burdette Center
  • Launched partnership with West Virginia Public Education Collaborative


  • Launched partnership between Steptoe & Johnson and the Mary C. Snow afterschool site of Bob Burdette.
  • Launched Middle School Support Programs
  • Launched Virtual Mentoring Programs in 7 elementary schools and 5 middle schools, created virtual mentoring curriculum. 



  •  Launched Partnership with Truist Bank and the Mary C. Snow afterschool site of Bob Burdette.
  • Launched Partnership with Amherst Madison and Malden Elementary.
  • Launched Middle School Speakers Bureau.
  • 275 Elevators to date, over 15,000 hours of service
  • Elevator programs at 9 schools and afterschool programs in Kanawha and
    Berkeley County, as well as Elevators at 5 Middle Schools continuing relationships with their students.

Our Corporate Partners


Education Elevators is a West Virginia based, non-profit organization that partners businesses and organizations with local schools to match their employees with students in need of mentors, role models, friendship, academic support, and individual attention.By impacting individual students, we respond to fundamental needs in our communities.Education Elevators is designed to facilitate and support meaningful mentoring partnerships of businesses and organizations with local elementary schools.

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