“If you are determined to reach these children that no one else is reaching, you must be willing to do what no one else has done”
As a society, it is important for us to remember that youth within the juvenile justice systems are, most of the time, youth who simply did not have the right mentors and support systems in their lives. As children, these are circumstances beyond their control. Government-funded programs have the right intentions in assisting at-risk youth as minors; however once these individuals age out of the program, they are left to transition into adulthood, again without any guidance.
Youth Opportunity Foundation (YOF) is dedicated to helping troubled teens become successful adults. YOF recognizes that this at-risk population requires guidance in their transition into adulthood and re-integration into our community. Studies have proven that creating new pathways to higher education and to work is a key contributing factor in positive youth outcomes ( Bazemore & Meroe, 2012). Education is a crucial catalyst in this transition for at-risk youth. To quote Leo Buscaglia, “Change is the end result of all true learning.” If we as a society provide these individuals with the opportunity for learning, change will ideally follow.
Youth Opportunity Foundation (YOF), partnered with Ivy Tech Foundation, has created the Ivy Tech Scholarship program for qualifying youth at all of Youth Opportunities’ campuses. This scholarship program will provide opportunities for youth, who would otherwise have no option to obtain vocational training or college instruction, access to higher education.
Your generous donations will fund this scholarship program, providing the opportunity for change and a step towards success and independence for our at-risk youth. It is important for us to remember that an investment in our youth is an investment in the future of your community.
“…he tore me down, manipulated me and used me to fund his lifestyle.”
Human trafficking generates $150.2 billion a year, making it the second largest criminal industry in the world (Office of the Indiana Attorney General, 2016). All communities, whether urban, rural, or suburban are vulnerable to this modern-day slavery. In fact, Carmel, Indiana is the second largest hub for human sex trafficking in Indiana (Office of the Indiana Attorney General, 2012). This is a wide-spread epidemic that is prevalent in our own communities, neighborhoods, and backyards.
Youth Opportunity Foundation, partnered with Hope Center Indy, has created a scholarship program for survivors of human sex trafficking to assist the survivors in their continued recovery through the platform of education. Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Megan Ward is a successful example of what one survivor can do when given the opportunity and resources to change their own life. Megan plans to help other women through mental health and substance abuse counseling once she has finished her degree. “My goal is to help other women, to show them that there is another way.” Megan has overcome unimaginable obstacles in her journey from a destructive and dangerous lifestyle, to attending college and working with Hope Center Indy.
With your donations, we can make a difference in the lives of survivors like Megan Ward. Your donations will fund post-secondary education for Megan Ward and other survivors with similar stories, giving them the opportunity for a successful future.