HOUSING • EDUCATION • LIFE + WORK SKILLS
The mission of MWYF's master plan, The Excalibur Youth Empowerment Project®, aka The Excalibur Project®, is to provide former foster youngsters every possible tool to support their dreams, commitment and effort: From housing, education, skill development and training, guidance, social enhancement opportunities, and more.
The housing component of The Excalibur Project® is set for implementation in early 2020, providing safe, affordable options for these young men and women who would otherwise be homeless or exposed to dangerous, unstable conditions living in their automobiles, couch-surfing at friends', relatives' or even strangers' homes, and other unsafe sites.
MWYF has been actively collaborating with South Florida entrepreneurs and professionals, business and trade organizations, local and state public officials and entities to create this master plan to adequately assist our community's former foster youths. Having aged-out of the system, they have nowhere to go, possess very limited resources and even fewer professional connections, need guidance, and yet are wholeheartedly committed to building a better future for themselves.
Click on this link to read more about The Excalibur Project®.
MWYF is always looking for hard-working, kind-hearted and talented individuals who are passionate about our cause and goals. Please use the CONTACT US form on this website or email us at info@MagicWasteYouthFoundation.org if you'd like to volunteer and be an integral part of our incredible organization.
COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS
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.
To date, MWYF has funded eighteen (18) scholarships.
The foundation has also established a second —and very special— endowment in memory of its director and friend, former State Representative Gustavo "Gus" Barreiro, who passed away unexpectedly in mid-2019.
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.
MDC 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 former 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!
DUFFEL BAG PROGRAM
Did you know that foster children may move from foster home to foster home an average of 4 to 6 times during their time in the foster care system —some will move more than 15 times— and that they usually carry their belongings in supermarket or trash bags?
Team MWYF decided that it was traumatic enough for these children to be removed from their families and environments, as dysfunctional or dangerous as those may have been, and set into a strange new world of unknown surroundings and caretakers all the while carrying their precious items stuffed in one or more plastic bags.
And we said: Not in Miami-Dade County, they won't!
Since 2018, generous donations to MWYF's My Things! Duffel Bag Program have enabled us to supply as many foster kids as possible with beautiful, functional and spacious duffel bags that can easily accommodate their clothes, shoes, toiletries, toys and other items.
These duffel bags also bring a sense of ownership, order, dignity, pride, and self-respect to young lives that are already going through so much.
Because new foster care cases open up on a daily basis, our My Things! Duffel Bag Program is an ongoing project. Click here to donate to this specific fund.
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 "The Magic of Christmas" Sports Equipment Drive networking event in early December or make a donation for this purpose. Thank you!