Mission Statement: To promote the development of young men and women emerging from the foster care system in South Florida into their full potential by providing the essential tools they need to thrive: life and work skills, housing, education, nutrition, healthcare, and more.
What We Do
Incorporated in early 2017 as MagicWaste Foundation Inc., MagicWaste Youth Foundation (MWYF) is an ALL VOLUNTEER 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on assisting South Florida disadvantaged youths that are in the process of “aging-out” or have already been “aged-out” of the foster care system with their life and work skills, housing, education, nutrition, healthcare, and other needs.
The organization is the brainchild of Rodolfo “Rudy” Bustamante, a Miami entrepreneur who serves as its president and guiding force.
MWYF partners with area charities and organizations to counsel, mentor, educate, and provide these young men and women with the support and specialized programs that will enable them to
• Rise above their circumstances;
• Stay off the streets, away from gangs, violence and drugs;
• Develop to their fullest potential; and
• Build a better future for themselves, their families and peers, and their community.
MWYF organizes and hosts events throughout the year to raise funds and awareness to the plight of our area’s foster youths.
Over 80 percent of the proceeds from these events is dedicated to fund MWYF’s assistance programs; the remaining revenue covers event costs and the foundation’s minimal administrative expenses.
The only exception to the funding distribution described above is the revenue from our Christmas Toy Drive and Networking cocktail, which is used to acquire sports equipment for kids and teens in our partner organizations.
“The best formula to keep children in shape, motivated, busy, and out of trouble is to involve them in daily physical activity, preferably one or more sports,” says Rudy Bustamante. “Many communities here in South Florida are focusing on sports as a means to reduce gang activity, violence, and drug use.”
In fact, UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) has launched a global youth crime prevention initiative that builds on the power of sports as a tool for peace.
“The initiative aims to promote sports and related activities to prevent crime and to effectively build resilience of at-risk youth. Strengthening the life skills of youth is a key objective in order to minimize risk factors and maximize protective factors related to crime, violence and drug use. By enhancing knowledge of the consequences of crime and substance abuse and developing life skills, the initiative seeks to positively influence behaviour and attitudes of at-risk youth and prevent anti-social and risky behaviour.”
This fundraising action plan has produced excellent results. Please visit the OUR PROJECTS page to find out more about our programs.
Why We Do What We Do
From October 2016 to September 2017, in Miami-Dade County, an average of 107.6 children PER MONTH were removed from their homes and placed into foster care.
You can say that these statistics don’t seem extremely overwhelming at first glance. After all, 108 children is merely 5/1,000th of a percent of Miami-Dade County’s 2.8 million population.
Look again. . . it’s an average of 107.6 kids per month. Do the math. That’s 1,291 children in our community entering the foster care system in a given year.
Still not an impressive statistic?
It may not seem an overwhelming nor impressive number, but the reality is devastating to the children that are removed from their homes because they are suffering one or more of the following traumatic experiences:
• Physical or sexual abuse by the individuals who are supposed to love and care for them;
• Parents’ or caretakers’ incarceration, ill health or death;
• Abandonment; or
The Children’s Bureau, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, defines foster care as “24-hour substitute care for children outside their own homes” and identifies foster care settings to “include, but are not limited to, nonrelative foster family homes, relative foster homes (whether payments are being made or not), group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities, and preadoptive homes.”
We won’t address the quality of these settings here, but for a gamut of reasons, placement in a foster home isn’t always successful or developmentally propitious for the child involved.
There used to be a time in which most children entering the foster care system, at whatever age, would most certainly never leave it before turning 18. Today, under federal regulations, states are required to help children and youths find a permanent family situation more quickly than before. In its Numbers And Trends factsheet for April 2018, the Children’s Bureau reports that the estimated 437,465 children in foster care nationwide on September 30, 2016, had the following case plan goals:
• 55 percent had a goal of reunification with parent(s) or principal caretaker(s).
• 26 percent had a goal of adoption.
• 5 percent had not yet had a case plan goal established.
• 4 percent had a goal of emancipation.
• 3 percent had a goal of long-term foster care.
• 3 percent had a goal of guardianship.
• 3 percent had a goal of living with other relative(s).
Again, from the Children’s Bureau’s Numbers And Trends factsheet, of the estimated 250,248 children who exited foster care during FY 2016, the median amount of time spent in care was 13.9 months, with the following lengths of time in care:
• 10 percent in care less than 1 month
• 35 percent in care for 1 to 11 months
• 28 percent in care for 12 to 23 months
• 15 percent in care for 24 to 35 months
• 9 percent in care for 3 to 4 years
• 4 percent in care for 5 or more years
Fifty-six (56) percent stayed in the foster care system for more than one year. As time goes by, the prospects for landing in safe, loving, permanent homes grow dimmer for foster youth.
Most of these children will be in and out of the system until their 18th birthday, Once they “age-out,” many will face the world with no support, housing or guidance.
Our Kids Of Miami-Dade/Monroe, the agency that directs the coordinated system of care for abused, abandoned, and neglected children, is currently supervising and managing 3,100 kids.
Approximately 150 youngsters will age-out of the system in Miami-Dade this year upon turning 18 —and they are expected to begin caring for themselves without a family and without the skills to make it on their own.
In a recent factsheet, the Children’s Rights organization sheds light on an even more difficult reality:
• Youth who age out of foster care are less likely than youth in the general population to graduate from high school and are less likely to attend or graduate college.
• By age 26, approximately 80 percent of young people who aged out of foster care earned at least a high school degree or GED compared to 94 percent in the general population.
• By age 26, 4 percent of youth who aged out of foster care had earned a 4-year college degree, while 36 percent of youth in the general population had done so.
• In 2015, more than 20,000 young people aged out of foster care without permanent families. Research has shown that those who leave care without being linked to forever families have a higher likelihood than youth in the general population to experience homelessness, unemployment and incarceration as adults.
This is precisely the crux of MagicWaste Youth Foundation’s concern and the focus of its work. We believe that our community cannot afford to lose the great potential that lies within these young men and women. Our mission is to provide foster youth with the support they need to face —and ultimately conquer— the world, and become the leaders of tomorrow.
We trust that the information on this page and website has impressed upon you the relevance of our foundation’s work —and we hope you will join us. . . as a team member, a benefactor, a sponsor or as a frequent guest at our events.
We would also ask that you please help us spread the word. The more people who find out about the work we do and the young men and women that we assist, the more support it will get.
You may also want to join MagicWaste Youth Foundation on social media. Please click on the green icons featured in this site’s header and footer and share our posts (especially our event evites!) with your followers. Thank you!