This project will enable Camp Horizon, in metro Atlanta, to expand its unique Summer Camp mentoring program, where we match one child from foster care, aged 8-11, with ONE adult mentor for a week-long, life-changing experience. Camp Horizon offers year-round, no-cost programs to Atlanta's youth in foster care. We work to restore dignity and hope to children, teens and young adults who have been abused and neglected -- empowering them to make good decisions and lead healthy, productive lives.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Currently, there are on average 1,750 children and teens residing in foster care in metro Atlanta's Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties; youth who have been removed from their homes due to no fault of their own. Most youth in foster care deal with diminished self worth and confidence. Some struggle with behavioral challenges, outbursts, anger, and aggression. A smaller number might deal with food issues related to lack of food security. Most are likely to develop risky behaviors.
How will this project solve this problem?
Camp Horizon focuses on the basic psycho-social needs of children who have suffered trauma. Working on self esteem, trust, resilience, and motivation require a long-term, consistent time investment with personal and meaningful interaction. Our mentors make this possible and successful. Over-night Summer Camp affords a safe place for kids to feel loved, supported and encouraged. Campers take on challenges, set goals and succeed at things they never dreamed possible, while being among "family."
Potential Long Term Impact
We plan to double our Summer Camp enrollment to 64 boys and girls for 2014. In the long-term, providing love and support for "unwanted children" helps to counter common negative behaviors like smoking, drinking, substance abuse promiscuity, dropping out of school, criminal behavior, teen pregnancy, STIs, mental and physical illness, suicide and death. More than half of today's homeless and sex-trade populations are former foster youth. Camp Horizon proves that love and attention matters.
Total Funding Received to Date: $16,619
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $73,381
Total Funding Goal: $90,000