My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Skys The Limit Fund, Los Altos, CA, USA
Sky’s the Limit Fund was established in October 2009 by two Los Altos women, both of whom have served the local community in numerous ways over the past 20+ years. One of our founders has first-hand knowledge of what happens to a family in crisis when a child meets with challenges beyond their ability to control, and the powerful impact that wilderness therapy can have on helping youth and young adults find a path toward making healthier, lifelong choices.
Wilderness therapy programs use the wilderness as a tool to quickly and effectively impact students at risk. Experiential in nature, emotional growth wilderness programs provide struggling youth and young adults an opportunity to challenge themselves physically and emotionally while exploring the unhealthy behaviors that have prevented them from making progress in their lives.
Our founder became concerned about those families who could not afford the steep price of wilderness therapy, and enlisted the help of a friend and professional fundraiser to launch a program that would aid families in crisis, who, without the program, would not be able to get the help needed for a loved one.
Sky’s the Limit Fund Today
The mission of Sky’s the Limit Fund (STLF) is to transform the lives of at-risk youth by providing grants, support, and hope through wilderness therapy programs and beyond. Effective wilderness therapy comes at a steep price, from $400 and up per day with average stays of eight weeks! You can imagine how difficult it is for financially challenged families in crisis to get their child the treatment they so desperately need. Sky’s the Limit Fund helps to alleviate that burden by helping with financial assistance and providing for families in need. We require partner programs to match our financial assistance 100%, which means all donations are doubled!
To date, STLF has raised in excess of $100K and has awarded financial assistance to thirteen students to attend a wilderness treatment programs and beyond. STLF has a thorough screening process, which requires an applicant to 1) be referred by an approved wilderness therapy program, 2) be evaluated by an eligibility matrix, and 3) be interviewed by a member of the financial assistance review committee. One example of how Sky’s the Limit Fund has changed lives involves a single working mother, we will call her Jenny to preserve confidentiality. We were touched this year by Jenny’s cry for help for her 16-year old son. Following a difficult childhood with an absentee dad and a mom who was a recovering alcoholic, Jenny’s son began exhibiting wild mood swings, which were becoming increasingly violent, his behavior was affecting his school progress and inappropriate social behaviors were surfacing. Jenny was strong in her reserve to get her son to a wilderness program and exhausted every avenue of potential support. Our financial support award gave Jenny “the tipping point needed to get him on a positive path towards health.” Jenny’s son is doing very well now, and mother and son have an excellent relationship.
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What is this organization's top short-term priority?
In addition to continual fundraising the organization short-term priority is creating a strong infrastructure and creating and managing a comprehensive web-based resource center, that will provide families in crisis an easy to navigate website that will help them better understand the services and options available.
What is its top priority in the long run?
We would like to develop a mentoring program that involves past recipients that have successfully graduated form a wilderness therapy program and meets our program mentoring criteria.