BENEFITING: City Kids to Wilderness Project
Every year, we get a little older, a little wiser, and celebrate our birthdays by doing something meaningful for ourselves. This year marks my 30th birthday and for it, I decided to focus on helping to improve my community. In so doing, I am fundraising over the next 2 months for the City Kids Wildrness Project, a DC bred and based philanthropy that is consistently selected as one of the best in the city since inception.
City Kids is an innovative program serving under-resourced youth of all backgrounds from Wards 5, 7, and 8; many from single parent homes, receive free or reduced school lunches, and/or have family in the criminal justice system. The program provides the necessary long-term tools for kids to excel in academics, utilize leadership, and adjust to new experiences. Beginning in 6th grade, the kids get 3 hours a day of after school tutoring for 4 days a week. When the kids enter 9th grade, they begin internships, job shadowing, and become mentees. Throughout the year, participants will get to go on local excursions – hiking, camping, rock climbing, kayaking, etc. but every summer, the kids are flown to a 62-acre ranch in Yellowstone (Jackson Hole, Wyoming) for several weeks.
Why This Organization?
I was fortunate enough growing up to have access to adult mentors, family that spurred intellectual curiosity, and the outdoors. Education and life experience, those were the key drivers – the values that City Kids looks for in their participants.
In a city with a 61% graduation rate from high school, the kids who stay with the program have a 96% graduation rate. And those who do graduate, 82% enroll in college or other formal programs. The program truly is an innovative way to teach and build up our future.
My target is $8,500 – the cost to fully support a kid. However, here is the breakdown of some of the costs for the program:
a) $25 Pays for a camping site fee for a backcountry site (Shenandoah National Park, Grand Teton National Park, etc.);
b) $35 Pays for a biking or rock climbing day trip adventure for one youth (rental fees, gear, transportation, and a meal);
c) $50 Pays for printed curriculum and program supplies for one youth in our job experience training program;
d) $4,000 pays for a session of summer camp for a middle school student including all pre and post camp support, housing, food, activity and program fees, transportation, outdoor gear and clothes, and more!
Now, you must be thinking this sounds like a great idea! How Can I Help? Well, there is a few ways, here’s how:
I. When I was born, I couldn’t do anything thing and was considered lazy. Give $1 and volunteer 4 hours (minimum).
II. When I was 5, I managed to eat 5 plates of French Toast at IHOP. Give $25 and volunteer 2 hours (minimum).
III. When I was 11, I went on my first camping trip with the Boy Scouts. Give $55 and volunteer 2 hours (minimum).
IV. When I graduated college at the age of 25, I was learning new, exciting things in the world. Give $250.
V. When I was 29, I moved to DC and things are being written. Give $500+.
Of course, anything helps – giving financially or your time. There will be several events going on so we hope to see you there! Thank you for your contribution and please pass this along to help reach our goal.
Evan James Fontana