Boys Hope Girls Hope
AmeriCorps National Direct FY 2011(New)
Connectedness is a primary factor in enabling children to move through their adolescent years without engaging in behaviors that compromise academic or personal success. A tutor opening connections in the mind can reveal the power of numbers or words to a struggling 7th grader. A young man whose view of the future has been limited by poverty can experience a larger world when a librarian connects him to books about the world. A caring mentor connects a young woman to her belief in herself, creating aspirations beyond a childhood riddled with abuse. Educational success continues to be the most significant counterweight to the consequences of abuse, neglect, poverty and violence. Yet, only a fraction of the nearly 500,000 children and youth in out-of-home placement make the connections necessary to attain a high school diploma or attend college. Connections - the links to people and resources - can significantly change the outcomes for these young Americans to the benefit of all. The Linked Up for Success AmeriCorps program will create those connections necessary to propel these highly vulnerable youth to sustainable futures. Fifty-one AmeriCorps members working as teams in sites across the U.S. will create the connectivity necessary to mitigate significant barriers to school success for over 200 children in grades 6-12 in out-of-home placement. Their activities will include providing academic remediation, raising reading ability, recruiting and matching mentors and tutors, facilitating opportunities for enrichment experiences and helping build skills that help prepare the children for life success. The Boys Hope Girls Hope Linked Up for Success AmeriCorps program builds on 35 years of helping children-in-need reach their potential, and a long-term presence in and understanding of the communities in which we operate. Linked Up combines the best elements of two separate AmeriCorps programs and six years of experience as an AmeriCorps grantee. The program effectively utilizes AmeriCorps members in roles that are truly impactful for at-risk youth, and empowers broad sections of the community to contribute to solving one of the farthest reaching human and economic challenges of our time. It is about courageously casting off fear, doubt and limiting beliefs and giving people a sense of hope, optimism and accomplishment.