The Final Draft
The Final Draft
StandUp For Kids is a non profit organization that was founded by volunteers from San Diego, CA in the year 1990. This organization started in one city but over the years it has become a nation wide charity organization. It now operates in several states in the United States and the District of Columbia. It is an organization that works with volunteers most of the time to achieve it’s goals and expectations from the community. (http://www.standupforkids.org/about/default.aspx)
The homeless and street children have an estimated population of 1.5 to 2.8 million in America. If these children lived in a state together then it would be among on of the city with the largest population in America. An average number of 13 children lose their lives daily on the streets because of diseases, suicide and any form of abuse. That amounts to an average of five thousand children yearly. 39% of the young people in the streets who contribute to the homeless population are children under the age of eighteen. According to (Keuroghlian & Shtasel, 2014), every seven homeless children, between ages of 10 and 18, one of them is likely to run away from their family or homes.
Half of the homeless population are youths who ran away from their homes because of sexual and physical abuse are are under the age of 18. These youths on the streets are in danger in the society especially on human trafficking. Human trafficking is one of the crimes that are growing at a fast rate in the United States and these criminals target the homeless youths on the streets because they do not have families who would follow up on their whereabouts. An estimated population of 100,000 children are likely to be involved in sex trade yearly.
StandUp For Kids tries to help the homeless, run away street children. They provide outreach services and life saving skills to the homeless and street children. The StandUp For Kids outreach services includes a team that is responsible for going to the streets and looking for those children personally. The team thus builds a friendship with the homeless children and assures them that there are concerned people who are interested in their safety and success. The team also provides them with information on the resources that are at their exposure on how their needs can be met, like education, health care, mental health, housing and support services.
StandUp For Kids outreach services includes proving basic needs like food, clothes, beddings, products to maintain hygiene and other items meant for comfort. They are also provided with mailing services so that they can be able to receive mail physically. Outreach services also includes provides entertainment to those children like movies, birthday parties and picnics to build a different lifestyle from the streets. The outreach service also has counseling services to prevent the children from harm, wrong choices and an opportunity to share their problems that come from street life.
StandUp For Kids has an outreach center also called drop in centers where they are meant to give safety and guarded environment for the homeless and youths at-risk. This center provides a place where the children can seek for shelter away from the dangers they experience in street life. As shared by (Williams, 2016), most of the children who seek shelter at the outreach center usually sleep because they feel safe away from physical and sexual abuse, harassment suit of all sorts and theft. The outreach or Drop In Centers are active in the evenings because the homeless and street children go to take a hot meal, clean up, get counseling and access computers to work on their assignment, homework or resume.
StandUp For kids has programs that involve mentoring, tutoring, life skills, guidance and counseling and a program where they look for the families of the run away children and try to reunite them and create peace. StandUp For Kids uses two models in their mentorship program because of the diversity in the community. One of them is In-school and After-school mentoring and the other is Small Group and Center Mentoring.
In School and After-School Mentoring program is aimed at preventing teenage pregnancies and promiscuity, involvements in gang among the children, drug abuse and foster more children into education which will positively influence the rates of graduates in high school and their passion in learning. In this mentorship program, the kids meet up with theirs mentors on a school year and on a weekly basis. This mentorship program is aimed at acknowledging the efforts and performance of the kids in school and encourage them to do better and be better (http://www.standupforkids.org)
The Small Group and Center Mentoring program deals with homeless and at risk youths between the ages of 18 to 24 and provides them with resources that are aimed to assist them in dealing with their problems and the difficulties they are going through. This mentorship program has mentors helping out these children in their studies, and professional life by setting some achievable goals for them. The mentors are responsible in making sure that each of these kids achieve their goals one step at a time (http://www.standupforkids.org )
StandUp For kids tutoring program has the organization looking for tutors or volunteer tutors who work with the kids individually. As shared by (Ruddick, 2014), the tutoring program is aimed at improving the academic performance of the child. StandUp For kids Life skills program involves training these children in order for them to survive away from street life. These life skills builds them a good foundation away from streets and street life. Some of the life skills that have been focused on include managing anger, tutoring services, Management of Finances, communication and studying skills, setting of goals, classes on management of behavior and entertainment.
StandUp For Kids organization has partnered up with the schools around to provide materials necessary for materials. It has partnered up with the community members who have been able to volunteer and provide food and donated clothes for the children. It’s partnership with schools have given students the opportunity to volunteer with the organization which has been an advantage in their service learning as well as helping them put their interest and skills to practice. The Red Cross organization and USAID are the organizations I feel they should work with. The Red Cross would be responsible for providing basic needs and USAID for healthcare.
StandUp For kids uses volunteers for their mentorship programs. The call out for people who are capable of giving out mentorship to volunteer. As shared by (Ravenhill, 2016), some local celebrities or people the kids take as role models are used to come mentor them. The volunteers also are used to give out some guidance and counseling. These volunteers listen to the children and help them overcome their problems. Some of the volunteers also offer to donate food or clothing a to the children. http://www.standupforkids.org/programs/default.aspx)
Despite the economic benefits where the organization doesn’t pay for the services, most of the mentors and tutors volunteering in StandUp For Kids organization are college students. These students benefit in putting their skills at work and in getting some work experience which will go a long way in enhancing their career. Through volunteers who donate clothes, the organization gets to save up money that was supposed to be used to purchase for that into more important projects in the organization.
StandUp For Kids is an all-volunteer organization thus they might experience some roadblocks where they might not get enough volunteers to work with the children. This roadblock can be dealt with by partnering up with the community colleges around who have service learning incorporated in their curriculum or students with passion in community service to volunteer. StandUp For Kids organization might also experience a problem where some of the street children cannot be redeemed easily because they might be involved with gang groups or have a drug problem and might need extra work in terms of counseling and rehabilitation.
StandUp For Kids organization can improve on the number of partners they have. According to (Olufemi, 2016), having more partners would enable consistency in terms of support because the population of street kids and homeless children increase everyday. The organization can also improve on the number of computers they have and educational materials so that they can focus on providing good education and enough educational resources for the increasing upcoming population.
StandUp For Kids face a challenge on laws and regulations. As shared (Toolis & Hammack, 2015), some of the street children that they are giving counseling and are trying to help them might still get involved in gangs. These children might get caught when committing a crime and get arrested. This might bring trouble to the organization. Some of the homeless and street children might be skipping school despite given the opportunity to study, thus bringing an educational problem to the organization. According to (Goode, 2015), drug abuse can also be a problem to children who have been using drugs and can lead them to committing crimes, thus a law and regulations problem.
StandUp For Kids can overcome such problems by including rehabilitation centers for these teens or taking these teens to rehabilitation centers to get help. This would reduce cases on laws and regulations that are likely to be brought to the organization. According to (Tyler & Melander, 2015), the children involved in crime, they can be mentored, given advice and talks on the disadvantages of life in crime.
As a student I can volunteer in StandUp For Kids as a mentor or a tutor and help these children be better and do better in their academics. I can also volunteer and become a guidance and counsellor so I can assist them in dealing with their problems and advice them on what they can do. I am talented in knitting, I can teach some of the children interested and through this we can be able to save the organization some money by knitting sweaters, blankets or matts. We can knit some for the organization and some we can sell to the community and we get some money that can boost the organization.
EE Toolis, PL Hammack. (2015), The lived experience of homeless youth, A narrative approach.
KA Tyler, LA Melander. (2015), Child abuse, street victimization, and substance use among homeless young adults
SM Ruddick. (2014), Young and homeless in Hollywood, Mapping the social imaginary.
L Aptekar, D Stoecklin. (2014), Street children and homeless youth.
AS Keuroghlian, D Shtasel. (2014), Out on the street
M Ravenhill. (2016), The culture of homelessness
JC Williams. (2016), A roof over my head
OA Olufemi. (2016), The homeless problem, Planning, phenomenology and gender perspectives
E Goode. (2015), Deviant behavior
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