Empowerment Influences Culture
Regardless of socioeconomic status, race, religion, or any other demographics, social issue concern us all. By developing youth leaders, all stakeholders benefit. Teaching kids how to show care empowers others to address social issues, ultimately empowering communities and influencing cultures.
what are you reading?
Theliteracycenter.org found that, “there’s a link between low literacy and crime. Seventy-five percent of adults incarcerated in state prisons lack a high school diploma and have low literacy skills. Individuals with low literacy are less likely to vote or participate in civic activities.” If parents are illiterate, unable to read at a fourth grade level, they cannot help their children with homework and the cycle will likely perpetuate across generations.
Based on health.gov, health literacy affects people's ability to navigate the healthcare system, locate service providers, engage in self-care and chronic disease management, share personal information with health care providers, or understand mathematical concepts such as probability and risk.
According to youth.gov, “a survey of 15-year-olds in the United States found that 18 percent of respondents did not learn fundamental financial skills that are often applied in everyday situations, such as building a simple budget, comparison shopping, and understanding an invoice. A report on the results of a financial literacy exam found that high school seniors scored on average 48 percent correct, showing a strong need for more comprehensive financial education for youth in high school.”
Our program participants are required to read selected books, as well as complete written assessments as proof of completion. Our homework incentive program keeps youth encouraged to stay on a path of academic achievement.
WARM HEARTS WARM HEADS
Homelessness is an issue that we cannot ignore, as it continues to grow. A recent “Bloomberg Businessweek” article stated, “the homeless crisis is getting worse in America’s richest cities.”
According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's Annual Homeless Assessment Report, as of 2017 there were around 554,000 homeless people in the United States on a given night.
A February 2018 article in the Los Angeles Times stated, “the number of those living in the streets and shelters of the city of L.A. and most of the county surged 75% — to roughly 55,000 from about 32,000 — in the last six years.” The article went on to say, “three out of four homeless people — 41,000 — live in cars, campers, tents and lean-tos, by far the biggest single group of unsheltered people in any U.S. city.”
Knit caps (beenies), scarves, gloves, and socks are essential in fighting the cold when living on the streets. By partnering with schools, faith based organizations, and other stakeholders, we are able to donate these items to people in need. Through our program youth provide supplies to the homeless population. Many of these items are donated by youth directly to other youth within the same age range. What better way to instill a “culture of giving” in youth!
Community beautification is critical in developing stronger communities. Our program participants determine areas in need of immediate attention. By allowing our youth to identify areas of concern, they gain an understanding of the importance of improving communities. This empowers and helps develop a sense of pride, which usually becomes infectious, and positively impacts community culture.