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Friends of the Children

OUR MISSION—Friends of the Children provides salaried, professional mentors to the children in our community facing the most difficult challenges. We invest fully and completely in each child for 12-1/2 years—from kindergarten through high school graduation—no matter what. MEASURABLE SUCCESS—Our long-term, holistic approach is uniquely effective at helping children overcome barriers and break cycles of generational poverty. Despite the considerable challenges they face, our youth overwhelmingly go on to create brighter futures for themselves, their families, and their communities. OUR RESULTS—83% of program graduates earn a high school diploma or GED. • 93% avoid the juvenile justice system. • 98% avoid early parenting. According to the Harvard Business Association of Oregon’s analysis, for every $1 spent on our program, $7 is saved by the community. SERVING SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON FOR OVER 10 YEARS—We have been serving youth in Clark and Cowlitz Counties for over ten years, and during this time we have seen the rate of poverty rise dramatically. Families are being priced out of a tight rental market and are always on the move in search of affordable housing. This high level of mobility is particularly hard on youth and directly contributes to lower academic performance, placing the child at risk of not graduating high school. Our Friends provide much needed consistency for youth as they move from school to school and navigate the many other challenges that come with living in poverty.
OUR FUTURE IN CLARK COUNTY -- We are planting roots in SW Washington with a new space for our Friends and Youth to gather thanks to a gift from The Firstenburg Foundation. One of our second graders, Malika*, moves back and forth between shelters and different family members’ couches. Her friend, Aisha*, keeps snacks and art supplies in the trunk of her car so that Malika will be fed and have the opportunity to practice her drawing wherever they go together. Aisha looks forward to the day she can visit the same place each week—a place with a comfy couch to read on, a small kitchen to make dinner and a table where Malika can spread out and paint. (*Names are changed to protect the youth’s privacy.) Your investment will allow us to continue delivering on our 12-1/2 year commitment to our youth and their families. Will you help us grow so we can serve more children in Clark County?
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