ANNUAL FOSTER YOUTH SPONSORSHIP
The MWYF team began collaborating with HANDY of Florida in late 2016 and became MagicWaste Youth Foundation's first strategic alliance partner months before our foundation was officially incorporated.
Established in 1985 and based in Broward County, HANDY provides customized programs that meet the individual needs of a foster child from early childhood to adulthood. Its award winning LIFE Program focuses on education, youth development and economic self-sufficiency.
MWYF sponsors several youths in HANDY's program, especially those who are close to being aged-out of the foster care system, to ensure that they receive assessments, academic planning and evaluations, case management, counseling and academic support.
Program activities also include tutoring, mentoring, social and recreational activities, emergency needs assistance for food, clothing, housing, education workshops, life skills training, post-secondary educational support, connection to internships, assistance with job placement, service learning projects and self-advocacy.
Each year, HANDY serves over 1,200 individuals per year. This includes youth ages nine to 25, family members and caregivers.
COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP FUND
Like American educator Horace Mann (1796 - 1859), we believe that "education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance-wheel of the social machinery."
And access to higher education is the best opportunity —and reward— that our organization can offer any foster youth that has emerged victorious from his or her special circumstances and attained a high school diploma. This is why in mid-2017, MWYF entered into its strategic alliance with Miami-Dade College Foundation and created a scholarship fund for foster youth that have aged-out of the system.
With eight campuses, 21 outreach centers and more than 300 educational pathways to choose from, Miami Dade College is the largest institution of higher education in the United States . . . and one of the most innovative as well. Besides traditional Associates and Bachelors degrees, it offers certificate courses, continuing education and professional development programs, and accelerated degree programs in Business Administration, Computer Information Technology, Nursing, and Psychology.
And it is revolutionizing academia with its IDEA Center, MAGIC/Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex, Miami Culinary Institute, and Miami Fashion Institute!
To fulfill its mission, MWYF has established strategic alliances with several outstanding South Florida entities that provide key services to the area's foster youth.
COMMUNITY ACTION PROGRAM
Our quest to learn about our community's disadvantaged individuals —and the programs that seek to assist them— led us to an amazing organization: the Chapman Partnership, another one of MWYF's strategic alliances.
Established in 1995 by Alvah Chapman, the late publisher of The Miami Herald, CP operates two homeless assistance centers, located in Downtown Miami and Homestead, with a total of 800 beds. These centers serve approximately 5,000 men, women and families with children annually with emergency housing, meals, health, dental and psychiatric care, day care, job training, job placement and assistance with securing stable housing.
Chapman Partnership emphasizes the individual's dignity and wellbeing, so its staff goes above and beyond what one would expect a shelter to be. Children have a study and computer room where they are mentored and supervised; most excel in school and earn honor rolls.
Chapman Partnership also provides its residents with three hot meals a day, 365 days a year, totaling more than 800,000 meals annually. Food service is a special activity, and it is usually sponsored and served by volunteers from Miami's business sector, church and social groups. It has proven to be a humbling, eye-opening and transformative experience for the entire MWYF team!
ACADEMIC AND SPORTS SUPPORT
Although MWYF does not directly sponsor foster youngsters that may attend the LBA Academy, our organization's focus on education as a means of transforming lives inspired up to support this innovative institution.
The LBA Construction and Business Management Academy Charter High School marks the first time that a business association such as the Latin Builders Association partners with Miami Dade County Public Schools to open and operate a district-managed charter academy. And it goes a step further in that it also offers high school students the opportunity to earn their diploma, industry certifications, college credits, and even own their own business, concurrently.
The academy is complimentary to attend for all registered students. Members of the Latin Builders Association serve as mentors and offer internships —and even future employment opportunities— in order to provide real life experience to these young men and women.
Students have the ability to plan and create their very own business with the guidance of established industry leaders. The ultimate mission of the LBA Academy is to forge the entrepreneurs and leaders of the future.
CHRISTMAS SPORTS EQUIPMENT DRIVE
When the holidays come around, the MWYF team has made it a point to organize a non-traditional "toy drive." Instead of collecting dolls, gadgets and computer games as most entities do, we host a fun-filled networking event to raise funds for sports equipment.
And believe us, kids love it when we arrive with arms full of basketballs, footballs, volleyballs, baseballs and bats, and other items. Their beautiful faces simply light up!
Inspiring children to engage in sports is a fantastic way for them to exercise, burn pent-up energy, learn to strategize, and develop other crucial lifelong skills. Regular physical activity promotes mental and psychological wellness, too, and helps them become an integral part of a group of classmates, friends or a more organized team.
It is well-known that children who participate in sports are less likely to drop out of school or become involved in drugs and alcohol activity, while they also tend to excel academically and socially.
This year, help us get "the ball rolling." Stay tuned for details of our "Countdown to Christmas" Sports Equipment Drive networking event in early December or make a donation and specify it's for this purpose. Thank you!