The week you graduate from high school is pretty cool. You probably know a new graduate. You certainly remember how you felt. Friends and family join to celebrate your first big accomplishment in life and the world seems full of possibilities.
Recently I went to Mary’s graduation party. Mary grew up in Southbridge, a neighborhood much better known for its problems than its graduates. I felt privileged to be invited. She was full of joy and her family was so proud of her. She’ll start nursing school in the fall and is thinking that she might do medicalmissions overseas. Truly, for Mary, the world is full of possibilities.
This June, including Mary, we have a record 10 StreetLeaders who will graduate. Moreover, all 10 have plans to go on to college.
Incredibly, they represent 10 different high schools, an anomaly of the Wilmington school system. The only common factor in their success – they’re StreetLeaders, youth who have invested several years in our job training program.
That’s truly the good news.
The bad news – they are the exceptions. The majority of their urban peers will not graduate. The vast majority will not enter college.
Contrast that with 10 for 10. No program in Wilmington has a bigger, life changing impact on urban youth than the Streetleader program. In fact, no program has a bigger impact on urban youth to urban youth than the StreetLeader program. This is the best investment in town. 10 for 10… who would you want batting for your child?
If you will sponsor a StreetLeader this summer we will get them to college.
Paying StreetLeaders is our highest summer expense, amounting to over $50,000 to employ over 30 youth. There’s no better investment we make, whether for these high school teens or the kids they serve. But I need your help to pay them this summer.
We need $18/day to employ a first time StreetLeader, $90/week. $540 will give a kid his first job. Mary, as a senior StreetLeader with more responsibility will earn more, $40/day, $210/ week. $1260 will fund Mary for the summer (and help her pay for college!). By the way, it costs about $130/day to incarcerate a child, 8 times the cost of employing a StreetLeader, and with no collateral benefit.
Give a kid a job and a life of possibilities. Help us graduate thirty more Mary’s.