Monday, December 14, 2009

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Plainfield group works to restore park and teach dropouts vital skills
Star-Ledger, Plainfield, NJ – December 9, 2009
One Plainfield organization is trying to intervene with at-risk high school dropouts before they turn to gangs or drugs and teach them life skills with the hopes they will return to the classroom or enter the work force. This week, the Plainfield chapter of the New Jersey Youth Corps received a $25,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection trails grant to continue the service learning component of its program, an ongoing effort to beautify the city’s Green Brook Park.

Intervention program gives students a second chance
Longmont Times-Ledger, Longmont, CO – December 10, 2009
Lacey Freeman, 20, first enrolled in the Open Door program when she was 16. It didn’t stick. Because of problems at home, the Skyline High School dropout moved to Arizona to live with an aunt and worked at a grocery store. But at 19, she wanted something more. She moved back to Longmont and re-entered in Open Door before enrolling at Olde Columbine High School. This May, she graduated valedictorian of Olde Columbine.

Juvenile Justice

At-risk kids gain friends in mentors at CSUS
The Modesto Bee, Turlock, CA – December 14, 2009
It started as a semesterlong assignment that many weren't really thrilled about completing. But as their class obligation drew to a close this month, several California State University, Stanislaus, students planned to continue meeting with the young people they mentored. About 75 juvenile justice students participated in the university's mentoring program, in its fifth year. They met, usually weekly, with at-risk students ranging from elementary to high school at 10 Turlock Unified School District campuses.

Goodwill grant to help at-risk teens

Cape Coral Daily Breeze, Florida – December 12, 2009

Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida was a recent benefactor of federal stimulus dollars to help mentor at-risk teens. The federal government awarded Goodwill International $19 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Kirsten O'Donnell, director of public relations, said that amount was split among 56 Goodwill stores nationwide. The overall grant to Goodwill came from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Foster Care

Aging Out of Foster Care
CBS 7, Midland, TX – December 8, 2009
Foster families who have an 18 year old in their care can now help them until the age of 21. Watching Daniela Ontiveros at work you wouldn't know that her life up until now has been a tough journey. A youth specialist with Child Protective Services, Daniela says she sees herself in those she helps and hopes that her life will be a shining example of brighter days. In order to receive care until the age of 21 the foster child must be enrolled in a GED program, college, or trade school.

Local Homeless Kids Are Getting Involved in Their Own Solutions
The Watch, Montrose, CA – December 9, 2009
Brandi Mason knows what it’s like to be a runaway, to grow up in the foster care system, to be homeless. She’s been all three. She’s been a foster child since the age of three, but Mason, now 17, plans to become an attorney who represents kids like herself, kids whose troubles started through no fault of their own, and who often end up on their own. As she prepares to take college entrance exams next year, Mason is already working to solve the problems of homeless kids in Montrose County.

Cakes for Cause: Baking to Benefit Foster Care Youth, Frederick, MD – December 9, 2009
Cakes are often in celebration of a birthday or wedding, but one Frederick organization is hoping to turn a person's love of sweets into a greater commitment to youth in the community. If you mix one pound of purpose and add two cups of care, you've got an organization called Cakes for Cause. Their mission: to help youth who have aged out of the foster care system. Christina Quinn is their newest apprentice. She spent two years in foster care before being adopted at age 10.

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