Friends of the Children-Portland Overview
Target demographics: For nearly twenty years, Friends of the Children has searched for the most vulnerable children in our community and invited them to enroll in our program. We do this by partnering with elementary schools located in neighborhoods characterized by high levels of poverty and crime. Every spring we spend six weeks interacting with kindergarteners at these schools in order to find the children who will benefit the most from having a Friend in their lives.
Direct beneficiaries per year: We currently serve 400 youth, grades K-12, in the Portland metro area.
Geographic areas served: Portland Metropolitan Area
Programs: Friends of the Children is an innovative program that fills the gap between what children deserve, and what life has dealt them. Our program profoundly alters the course of vulnerable children’s lives by giving them something that every child needs – a stable, long-term relationship with an adult who believes in their ability to succeed. Friends serves 400 youth, each of whom lives in difficult circumstances that severely threaten their chances of achieving high school graduation. Our youth not only live with the daily struggles experienced in low-income households, but face additional challenges like the pain of watching a parent struggle with drug addiction, or the devastation of being physically or emotionally abused.
Friends of the Children provides these youth with paid, professional mentors whose only job is to ensure the wellbeing of the youth they are matched with. Youth spend an average of 16 hours/month with their Friends, working on academic skills, practicing hobbies, and doing fun activities in the community. The long-term nature of these Friend/child relationships allows our mentors to have a profound effect on the life of each child.
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