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December 8, 2009

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December 8, 2009

NAEHCY is an amazing organization run by passionate advocates, many of whom work as volunteers. NAEHCY organizes a conference every year for professionals in the field of homeless education and homeless services. They provide technical expertise and advocacy for people working with homeless children and youth at all levels of service provision – local, community, school district, regional, state, and among peers at the national level. Just one example of their great work: A student in a western state had been homeless for 6 years and had not had a stable home during that time where he could complete school. Given all those challenges, he was about 2 years behind schedule in completing high school. He turned 19 but was completing 10th grade. This student had talent as a singer and had won many school and regional competitions, but he was denied the ability to compete at the state level. The state office on extracurricular sports and activities said that he was too old to compete in singing with other high school students. Their reasoning was that his advanced age created an unfair advantage for him over other children and youth. NAEHCY advocates assisted the state education office in understanding the student’s rights under the law and also in recognizing how critical extracurricular sports and activities are to all students, since those competitions might create scholarship and job opportunities. This particular student was not at any advantage over other students, since he had not had a consistent school experience and had an unstable home life that disrupted his education. By competing, this student had the opportunity to earn recognition that could help him in supporting his future educational needs. Extracurricular activities help kids in many other ways as well, from building leadership skills to networking; this kind of involvement helps to develop the whole person and offers a complete education. These battles are fought every day in communities all over the country. I, for one, am so thankful that NAEHCY is there to provide expertise and support to professionals in the field of homeless education.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way they helped me develop as a professional.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that they work well as a team to solve problems, rally support, and get the job done efficiently and effectively.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

passionate, committed, and knowledgeable.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

December 4, 2009

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December 4, 2009

NAEHCY is a wonderful organization with which I'm proudly affiliated. NAEHCY's good work is most easily observable though its LeTendre Scholarships - a select group of youth, whose lives have been disrupted by homelessness but who nonetheless pursued an education for themselves, are awarded college scholarship funding. It's a remarkable experience for the students, the organization and the hundreds of association members who attend the annual LeTendre Scholarship Awards Ceremony. Just as significant but far less visible, NAEHCY's small, dedicated staff and team of volunteers work tirelessly to ensure federal, state and local policies best support the educational needs of temporarily housed students and families as well as the school district homeless liaisons upon whom the students so often depend. As the economic downturn has put pressure on families, children have become hidden casualties of Wall Street's collapse; they inherit parental stress and endure their families' losses. The impact of this housing instability too often manifests in the classroom, thereby extending the effects of today's downturn well into tomorrow. Please join me in recognizing NAEHCY's efforts to combat these risks.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

talented, dedicated and creative - a truly impressive bunch!

Ways to make it better...

there were more ways to get involved throughout the year.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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