This white paper focuses on an important and under-conceptualized thread in the weave of efforts needed to ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared for college and/or career training: enhanced student supports. It argues that in order to overcome the educational impacts of poverty -- the poverty challenge, schools that serve high concentrations of low income students need to be able to provide direct, evidence-based supports that help students attend school regularly, act in a productive manner, believe they will succeed, overcome external obstacles, complete their coursework, and put forth the effort required to graduate college- and career-ready. Next, it highlights the unique role that nonprofits, community volunteers, and full-time national service members can play in the implementation of these direct student supports. It concludes by exploring how federal and state policy and funding can be designed to promote the implementation and spread of evidence-based, direct student supports. The paper draws on the emerging evidence base to examine these topics, and calls upon the insights gleaned through the author's fifteen years of participant-observation in the effort to create schools strong enough to overcome the ramifications of poverty and prepare all students for adult success.