A five (5) point focus will be the basis of the foundation programs:
Please select a focus below to learn more...
The search for and consolidation of an identity is one of the most hazardous journeys to be undertaken in a lifetime. At the end of childhood, the individual faces decisions of a magnitude that are astronomical in their impact, and is expected to decide wisely. Unless our children are armed with a strong sense of self, excellent coping skills and estimable decision-making mechanisms, the customary pitfalls of maladjustment become natural consequences.
It is of paramount importance that our young girls, specifically, be prepared with a set of tools with which to begin to build the fortresses of identity and self-esteem that will serve them through adulthood: the sense of self-worth and of pride provides a base from which positive growth in all arenas can stem. There is said to be a link between confidence and competence. We need to explore and institute those lessons, models and experiences that will empower and enable our young girls and women to meet life competently.
The challenge to achieve psychological wellness in our society is evidenced by increased and highly effective marketing of "new and improved pharmaceuticals." These "pill solutions" promise to improve or cure every ailment from the simplest discomfort to varying states of depression. This lack of emotional wellness in our society is mirrored in every reflection of our lifestyle regardless of race, ethnic, or cultural identity; socio-economic status and unfortunately, age or gender.
Our youth, like their adult role models are turning to these quick fix and ineffective methods to treat their emotional illnesses. With increased pressures from their peers, expectations from parents and teachers, self-imposed pressures in their effort to seek and receive approval from their peers, our youth are finding that the solutions they seek are not forthcoming. Thus, we witness increasing numbers of suicide, runaways, drug users, and many more severe psychological consequences of emotional instability.
Despite the availability of institutional support, public clinics, religious support programs, and other community organizations that provide systems of support and rehabilitative services, our youth are not learning to deal effectively with the emotional issues of life. It appears our youth are not finding that pills or other drugs reduce their pain of rejection and lack of peer approval. Thus, we find many youth choosing fatal options to abate broad based insecurities and the pain of emotional distress.
Development of the mind through educational experiences and cultural exposure is a necessity and a right for all children. Despite the efforts of many educational systems, there are increasing numbers of children and disadvantaged young people who are not receiving a quality, equitable basic education. The drop out rates in a society that purports to be a world class leader and number one economic power are vastly disproportionate and reflect a profound conflict of interest in what we endorse as a priority and what we actually practice.
With drop out rates climbing for most inner city schools, and even greater numbers for girls than boys of color*, we are truly in a state of crisis in our public schools.
The crisis consists of a reservoir of issues including:
Since exposure and sharing are critical components of the education process, the inability to engage with other students across state, country or internationally via technological means or academic exchange programs, further exacerbates the overall goal of providing and achieving a well rounded education for many disadvantaged and middle class students. *http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/sechool.html
The overall health status of our youth has been reported to be at the lowest levels in years. In fact, much of the nation at large could be an extremely high-risk population with respect to physical well being. At a time when we are daily bombarded with new information about how to maintain long life, improved health, become better fit, and methods for improving our eating habits, we remain at the bottom of the list of societies threatened by extreme obesity, poor physical fitness, over-stressful work environments, and lack of access to care for poor and disadvantaged people.
Despite our knowledge of new and improved ways to control our weight, increase our fitness, lower our death rates due to heart attack, stroke, and diabetes, we remain an endangered society.
The urgency to educate and expose our youth to new methods of reducing high risks lifestyles is critical. Because we live in a society that preaches acceptance of physical appearance, as we neglect the necessity to educate our adults and young people effectively about the significance of not seeking "wellness over beauty".
The ability to care for one's physical body by incorporating daily proper eating habits into our lifestyles, scheduling and following through on an exercise program to initiate and maintain physical fitness, and establishing goals to immediately reduce and eliminate the intake of all substances that tend to diminish and reduce our physical well being, are all critical steps to initiate your goal to achieve improved physical health and fitness.
The search to find solutions to the psychological pains produced by the numerous broad based stressors of our society is an ongoing quest for many. The reservoir of recommended solutions that bombard us daily through every media source possible, seldom qualify as appropriate or sufficient antidotes for ailments of the mind, soul, or spirit. While many of our answers and solutions may rest with a heightened awareness of self, a spiritual belief and awareness of faith as a weapon for internal healing, few of our youth are being offered the opportunity to learn the meaning of spiritual growth and development.
Teaching and exposing our youth to the values of spiritual growth and development is a major, though often missing component in our "life-survival tool-kit". Although most adults have been exposed to some form of religious teachings or spiritual beliefs, they often lack the wisdom to translate these lessons to their children. Unfortunately, for many adults who do practice a family religion, the idea of teaching spirituality and the art of embracing spirituality as a source of strength for improved quality of life, is not often accomplished.
Due to the broad arena of religious teachings, religious options, and the behaviors of many who practice these beliefs, most of our youth reject and rebel against this "practice of religious hypocrisy." Many young people may reject any opportunity to seek religion as an avenue or a source of relief or solution if they have witnessed or experienced adults who embrace a religion but demonstrate double standards in their behavior.
Economic empowerment, financial stability and independence are qualities that few women, of any persuation, achieve as adults. Unfortunately, being exposed to life situations that teach these skills, incorporating behavior that will ensure this achievement and finally, having exposure to female adults who support and model the behaviors to achieve this state of being, is not experienced by most young girls from disadvantaged environments. Seldom do we change childhood behaviors that we have copied from adults, especially our parents. Thus, the student from a "disadvantaged environment" mirrors the behavior that has been modeled.
Households with limited incomes have little opportunity to model fiscal accountability when the struggle to stay afloat is the ongoing priority. Thus learning to save a portion of our paycheck is often not practiced until we become adults. Most often, this is an even greater challenge when we feel the need to reward ourselves after much sacrifice. Often, after all the bills are paid, it is difficult to resist the urge to do something special for ones self with those dollars initially earmarked for the savings.