Duh ... where's a picture?
April 19, 2017
BENEFITING: Silver Lining Mentoring
ORGANIZER: Silver Lining Mentoring
EVENT: 2017 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 17, 2017
Foster Child. We all know the definition: a child looked after temporarily or brought up by people other than his or her natural or adoptive parents. However, unless this applies to you, it is very hard to be empathetic or understand the implications. Perhaps this will help.
There are approximately half a million foster children in the United States. Removed from their families because they have experienced abuse or neglect, the State becomes their guardian and has a unique legal obligation to ensure their well-being. Yet their educational outcomes are heartbreakingly poor. Recent studies have found that foster children:
- Have significantly higher rates of absenteeism and disciplinary referrals than their peers
- Are more likely to perform below grade level (75% perform below grade level)
- Are about twice as likely to be held back in school (83% are held back by third grade)
- Drop out of school nearly twice as frequently (50% obtain a high school diploma/GED)
- Attend a four-year college at a significantly lower rate (fewer than 3% do so)
Moreover, most foster youth are "aged-out" of the child welfare system when they turn eighteen. Without educational success, they are ill-equipped to support themselves. The cost to these children and society is extraordinary:
- over 25% of former foster children experience homelessness,
- approximately 25% spend time incarcerated,
- about 33% receive public assistance, and
- unemployment rates top 50%.
That’s were Silver Linings Mentoring comes in. Silver Lining Mentoring is the only mentoring organization in Massachusetts that exclusively serves youth in foster care. Founded in 2001, Silver Lining empowers foster youth in Greater Boston to flourish through committed mentoring relationships and the development of essential life skills. Silver Lining provides long term one-to-one mentoring and life skills development for young people who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Their volunteer mentors are often the only adults in our youth’s lives who are not paid to spend time with them.
And this is where I come in. I am a volunteer mentor that would like to raise funds through the running of the 2017 Boston Marathon. If the Silver Linings mission does not move you, this is what did it for me:
- The national average match length of a mentor/mentee relationship is 9 months. At Silver Lining, the average match is 55 months or more than 6 times the national average.
- 67% of youth involved at Silver Lining are employed versus 43% of their peers in foster care.
- Silver Lining youth are 2 times more likely to attend college than their peers in foster care.
So please help me to raise funds to allow Silver Lining to continue their mission and provide support to foster children in need. This is your opportunity to make a difference in the lives of youth in foster care.