Sep 9, 2019

HALO Youth are Defying the Odds

Sisters in I Defy the Odds Photoshoot
Sisters in I Defy the Odds Photoshoot

Each year, we look forward to our "I Defy the Odds" Photoshoot to show off some of our youth who defy the odds every single day. Kenny Johnson Photography graciously takes these amazing portraits for us, and we reveal them at the Inspiration Breakfast in September. We would like to highlight a few of the participants, as well as relay some of the reasons why this photoshoot is so important to us.

Let's start with professional photographs - the foundation of all this. Many, if not all, of our youth have never had professional photos taken of themselves. This opportunity not only makes them feel special, but helps boost their self confidence and worth. They come to understand they ARE worthy of this experience. That they make an impact in our community. That they are special to us, and we want them to recognize that. That they do, in fact, defy the odds.

Up next: Hair and make-up. This is a similar concept to professional photos! Again, the majority of our youth have not has professional hair and make-up done, and don't think they will ever get the chance to do so. This investment makes them feel special, worthy, and important. We as a staff already know these things, but strive to help our youth see those things in themselves. Simple acts like these make a huge impact in our kids' lives and are much more valuable than most people know. This opportunity is amazing for our kids as we love to spoil them when we have the chance!

We'd like to highlight a very special member of our HALO family: Frankie. Frankie has been involved with HALO for many years, and she perfectly exemplifies what it means to defy the odds. As one of the two girls in our pilot housing program, she has demonstrated to us her strength, tenacity, dedication, vibrance, kindness, and work ethic. Frankie is an amazing mother to her toddler, Pharoah, and is working hard to give him the best life she possibly can. Since she is graduating our housing program, she will now live in her own apartment and continue to provide for Pharoah. We are confident that they both have a beautiful life ahead of them. 

We are so very excited to debut these beautiful portraits from 2019! Thank you for your support in making days like this possible for youth who need us the most.

Frankie & her son during their first pics together
Frankie & her son during their first pics together
Sarah getting her make up done for the shoot
Sarah getting her make up done for the shoot
Kayla getting her hair styled
Kayla getting her hair styled
Frankie
Frankie
I Defy the Odds Photos
I Defy the Odds Photos
Sep 9, 2019

Congratulations, Madison!

I Defy the Odds Photo from HALO Photoshoot
I Defy the Odds Photo from HALO Photoshoot
Madison is a very talented young artist who first came to the HALO Learning Center in 2016 and then lived with us for almost two years at our Kansas City Pilot Housing Program and just moved out on her own this month. She has worked hard on her finances and focusing on her physical and mental health, and she has consistently set and reached her goals. During her time in the HALO Home, she showed her artwork in numerous professional art gallery shows, earning income in artwork sales. Madison also networked every Friday at this gallery for four months to make this dream come true. In addition, Madison was very committed to the HALOMakers Program. She used the funds to cover her deposit and three months of rent at her new apartment, and she still has some funding left over to use toward a car. She has recently gotten a full-time job at a solar company as a receptionist and is training for a graphic design position. She turns 21 in September, and we are so very proud of her.
Madison featured in HALOMakers program
Madison featured in HALOMakers program
Aug 7, 2019

Learn about the HALO Uganda Learning Center, a safe-haven in the community

HALO gathering at the Uganda Learning Center
HALO gathering at the Uganda Learning Center

HALO provides the foundation of a family for children without one. We provide housing, healing and education to over 1,400 homeless and at-risk children all over the world. Our mission is to help one more child spend one less day alone. When kids rediscover their value and embrace their potential, it puts them on a path to becoming contributing members of their community. 

In 2016, HALO launched the Uganda Learning Center and serves more than 200 youth monthly. This is a collaborative space for at-risk, orphaned, and homeless Ugandan youth to gather, learn, teach, grow and flourish. As Uganda continues to develop and advance as a country, our youth increasingly experience issues similar to those of American inner city youth. We have seen through our programming for youth in the U.S. that after school programming centers can make all the difference for a child. The Uganda Learning Center serves as a place for our youth to explore their passions, become engaged in safe and fun activities and to serve as a hub to provide education and certification programs. It has become an essential component to our programming and a place where our youth can be, belong and become. Check out the Uganda Learning Center Tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMnKbvq9JnE.

We currently provide certifications in Cosmetology (Hair Dressing and Beauty) and Fashion Design. Meet Ruth, Uganda Learning Center Salon Trainer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhnBpCOlmdc 

In addition, we offer workshops/classes taught by volunteers such as health, computer education, tutoring, arts and crafts, tailoring, baking, sports, music, dance, and drama. Other hands-on activities include making liquid/bar soap, shampoo, books, candles, and paint. Talent shows, performances and movie nights also take place.

The Uganda Learning Center currently supports about 140 youth each month from HALO supported Uganda Homes, 15 resettled youth who were formerly living in a HALO Home and 50 youth from the surrounding communities.

Thank you for your support!

Working in the Salon
Working in the Salon
Music and Dance are really popular!
Music and Dance are really popular!
 
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