Children are precious, and far too many of them have to go without. Far too many of them don’t have the basic necessities and support that could give them the chance at a brighter future. The good news is that there are some terrific organizations out there working hard to care for underprivileged children and set them on the path to success.
Usher’s New Look -
This non-profit organization is dedicated to transforming underprivileged youth into the global leaders of tomorrow. New Look offers a 10-year program, starting in the 8th grade, that emphasizes service as a path to personal development. Mentors from businesses, NGOs, and the government work with these students to help them find ways to improve their communities and get real-world leadership experience. As Usher’s New Look points out, 1.3 million students drop out of high school – 1 every 26 seconds. Students that drop out are 4 times less likely to earn a living wage. Also, 75% of all crime is committed by high school dropouts. In other words, staying in school makes a huge difference for a child’s chances of success. By connecting students to each other and to excellent mentors, New Look helps them stay in school and move on to college or to a career. In fact, 100% of participants in the program have graduated from high school and gone on to college or job placement.
The Asomugha Foundation-
The Asomugha Foundation serves both disadvantaged youth in the US and widows and orphans in Africa. Widows are prone to poverty, abuse, and neglect and are frequently left without the means to care for themselves or their children. Orphans are even more likely to lack the basic necessities for survival. And there are so many – there are currently 42 million orphans in Africa. In their American College Tour (ACT) program, the Asomugha Foundation provides college tours and an 18-month mentoring program to help young people of color achieve their dreams of higher education. High-achieving students have the opportunity to travel to different schools and learn about the options available to them, which makes a huge difference in the likelihood that they’ll attend a top university. As Nnamdi Asomugha says, “I believe that success is like a roll of film; in order to develop, you need exposure.” The foundation’s Orphans and Widows in Need (OWIN) program helps provide widows with skills they can use to provide for themselves and their children. It also helps provide orphans and other disadvantaged children with an education to set them on the path to success. In addition to these services, OWIN offers microgrants and microloans to help women start their own businesses. Finally, OWIN helps connect these vulnerable people to health care. The world can be a harsh place, but these organizations are out there fighting the good fight. And that makes all the difference.