Motivated more than most young people, these kids have a voice and a vision for a better life.
Young people from the foster care system come to us with many challenges to overcome. Some are over-medicated so they are less disruptive and others have no personal values - since most are shuffled from home-to-home with limited supervision. All of them experience only public education - with no consistent voice to advocate for their personal learning challenges. The case managers who care for them, assigned by the State, change routinely so there is no stability in getting the individual help they may need.
These young people have low self-esteem because they often come from abusive environments where they were reminded of their flaws consistently. They most often wear used clothing that rarely fits and have a sense of disconnectedness - even at school - because they bear the "foster kid" label. Many come to us angry and frustrated about their lives and their futures.
With a focus on developing inner wealth, we spark the greatness in Arizona’s Foster Youth to help them realize their potential while inspiring them to live united and with purpose.
The young people who choose to participate in our Masterclass program gain the benefit of a loving community and extended family experience. Their horizons are expanded with exposure to 9-different pillars of service and vocations that average 100+ experiences per-year. Some careers are new, exciting and are ones they never imagined.
We provide programs to develop each young persons self-esteem, self-acceptance, self-confidence and offer other personalized guidance as well as practical life-skills training so these young adults transition into real life much better equipped.
The young people, who experience just a taste of what we offer, and are forced to leave for one reason or another, generally still stay connected to us via more than one vehicle we provide. The Scott Foundation lifeline is one that doesn't disappear, even when teens "age out" of the system.
Scott Foundation has big aspirations and a different path for Arizona foster youth. We imagine a journey that inspires our kids to be their absolute best today while making our communities stronger and more peaceful. We imagine an education and societal system focused on empowering our foster youth, not just rescuing them. We also imagine a world where these youth are taught that they are not separate, but instead, are accepted for themselves and are a part of the community that surrounds them. That can only happen when they experience that connectedness and develop their self-esteem and self-confidence.
A critical step for moving forward in life is to define one's goals and dreams, since many of these kids have no thoughts of the future past the next week or next month. One of the key questions they are asked is, "What problem would you like to solve?" That one question instills a sense of power and these young people begin to think perhaps they can make a difference. They define what success looks like to them and life is explained in a way that clarifies how the path to get to where they are today to where they want to be - is rarely a straight line. These young people, often for the first time, begin to see a future ahead for themselves.
Experiential learning is the method we apply in exposing participants to new life-skills and ways to become more whole - emotionally, spiritually (developing hope and faith) and physically - and to set a vision for their future.
Love grows here... With 50+ nonprofits serving the Arizona foster care system, you'd assume many nonprofits overlap services. With some organizations, that's true but the interest-based programs of The Scott Foundation are unique; our programs are comprehensive and transforming. What we offer that others do not:
As participants mature in our Masterclass program, they are asked to write a three-line traditional Japanese haiku (poem), the epitome of emotional clarity and focus, reflecting their evolution or transformation in this program. Here are a handful of examples, which are much more powerful than routine testimonials.
Our coursework includes exposure to yoga, Tai-Chi and meditation as well as helping participants become more mindful, grounded and focused. Teaching compassion and kindness is learned through our core value of selfless service - in other words, service to others. It is amazing, how this one value redirects negative self-energy into something more positive in young lives. These youth begin to identify their own personal values (generally lacking) and eventually achieve a sense of contentedness through the wide community of support available..
Each young person participating is exposed to 8 different career paths with dozens of work-learn experiences annually in each of these fields: Wellness/Self-Care; Culinary Arts/Nutrition; Construction/Trades; Individual/Mass Communication; Agriculture/Farming; Animal Care/Rescue; Environment/Nature and Creative Expression through Fine, Commercial and Performing Arts. They are not taught in classroom settings but in actual work-learn environments from which their resumes can also be enhanced. These experiences also provide an opportunity for each teen to giveback to the community helping those in need.
With no concept of what the practical implications are of living on their own, our young people are educated about how to: obtain a driving permit, practicing driving (a challenge in the system), getting their driving license, understanding what insurance is needed and what is involved in buying their first car. Again, under-educated about what a healthy, balanced life outside of the system looks like, these young people learn about budgeting and banking, the responsibilities and the tools or skills needed to apply for a job they'd like, and what is involved in renting or buying a first residence. Not surprisingly, most of these teens also have no idea how to obtain a copy of their birth certificate, acquire a social security number or state ID - or why they need them. We help with the basics.
For older teens, exposure to Educational Options is available as well as Job Readiness training, which includes what to wear, interviewing skills, performance expectations, developing a resume and identifying jobs that fit their natural gifts and aspirations.
Reactive rather than pro-active, what foster care provides is basic needs. But these young people, with the backgrounds they've had, need more. Still, no state system seems to have the answers, so fires continue to be put out with funding. On average, they spend $549,890+ per-year per child.
For most young people turning 18, it's an exciting time, a right of passage into adulthood with graduation around the corner and many looking forward to college or an exciting career on the horizon. They have confidence and enthusiasm. But, for teens in the foster care system, it's different. When these young people turn 18 and "age out" of the system, this is the result:
Scott Foundation - Empowering Foster Youth
Scott-Foundation.org | P.O. Box 4927 Cave Creek, AZ 85327
Scott Foundation has sixteen years of experience hearing and feeling the hearts of Arizona foster youth. The essence of what hurts their hearts, and how they would make the world a better place, is our inspiration.
As an Earth to Spirit Permaculture Community, our mission expands, and we are launching their dreams into actions and sharing our adventures along the way.
We invite you to live from your heart, join our adventures that are wildly benefiting all.