Our Focus: Youth & Families
Our focus is on providing opportunities and support to children and families, and raising the hopes for all children, so they can dream big and thrive. To achieve the greatest impact, the bulk of our investments will be made in areas geared to advancing long-term outcomes, with a smaller investment pool set aside for basic, shorter-term needs.
Because we believe that making a World of Change® requires deliberate and strategic focus, we will ground our investments on data and proven impact strategies. To this end, we are including data in this section of our website from the The Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book >
We also believe in the need for endless opportunities for creativity and discovery. Everything we invest in will include an element of wonderment, to help elevate the positive vibrations of the universe. A child's journey should be an adventure filled with learning, growth, and empowerment.
Young Children & Their Future Well-Being
1 IN 5 KIDS IN AMERICA STRUGGLES WITH HUNGER
22% OF CHILDREN ARE LIVING IN POVERTY IN THE US
6.5M STUDENTS MISS A MONTH OR MORE OF SCHOOL EACH YEAR
65% of 4th Graders are not proficient in reading
Research shows that the development of important emotional, cognitive, and behavioral skills takes place early in life. These foundational skills are not only important for a successful transition to school, but also for later academic achievement and social adjustment. But too many children face challenges that hold them back, and obstacles that stand in the way of achieving their fullest potential and their heart's desires.
We will Invest in high-quality early childhood education and experiences, addressing unmet needs and maximizing opportunities to ensure profoundly better lives for children. These investments will maximize their future well-being, the well-being of their families, and our society as a whole.
68% of 8th graders are not proficient in math
18% of High school students are not graduating on time
7% of teens are not in school and are not working
Teens & Their Journey to Adulthood
Not surprisingly, the journey to adulthood is not an easy one. Our Western culture tends to associate this transition with the time when one moves out of their parents’ home, finds employment, or goes to post-secondary school. Add serious economic, family, or life issues, and the transition can be infinitely more difficult.
More than a destination, the journey to adulthood should be recognized for what it is - a process in which teens benefit from preparation and support along the way. "Magical" may seem a strong term to use, but the leap over this gap between childhood to adulthood is one of the most profound processes of human life.
We will invest in programs that teach and encourage skills development, increased knowledge, and provide access to the support systems required to navigate each stage in the process to successful adult transition. Opportunities for educational success, financial stability, independence, and well-being are paramount to helping teens discover their gifts, which can later be repurposed into service beyond self.
14% of children are from families where the household head lacks a high school diploma
30% of children have parents lacking secure employment
35% of children are living in households with a high housing cost burden
When families know how to support a child’s healthy development and can create experiences for learning, children grow up with the curiosity and confidence they need to succeed in school and life.
Many different adults matter to a child’s growth—from parents to child care providers, educators, and health care professionals. They, our Communities, all play an important role in nurturing a child’s development, learning, and health.
We will invest in programs using whole family and strengths-based approaches, where families get tailored, wrap-around packages of support, enabling them to improve their ability to care. With the child's needs at the center, these programs identify what other family members and caregivers need too so that we can include and support all of them - while recognizing and building on their strengths. We can help children have a strong start in life by ensuring that their families are equipped with the best information, coaching, resources, and support they need - empowered to help the children in their care grow and thrive. Better outcomes today, means a brighter future tomorrow - for everyone.