In this day and age its hard to comprehend we still have so many At Risk Teens but the work going on at school's like GOAL Academy is first-hand proof that its still a huge area of concern and need. Furthermore, one that we can all help to address. So what constitutes an At Risk Teen?
- Foster care
- One or more parent in prison
- Living on their own before the age of 18
- Having a child of their own
- Missing more than 10 consecutive days of "traditional" school in one school year
- Victims or witnesses of domestic abuse
These are just some of the high risk factors that consititute an At Risk Teen.
GOAL Academy is a free, public, blended, online high school specifically designed for "at risk" teenage students. At this incredible school students can earn a regular Colorado high school diploma in a safe and supportive environment. Chartered through District 49, there are 4 locations in and around Colorado Springs as well as other locations all across the State of Colorado.
Keri Hollon is Resource Development Coordinator for the Colorado Springs Region and is working hard to secure much needed resources.
GOAL Academy is considered an 'Alternative Education Campus School' and as such falls under the CO Department of Education mandates that all of our students must have at least 3 of the afore mentioned high risk factors. GOAL Academy is a not for profit school.
"Our students are required to come into one of our schools, at least twice per week, to meet with their 'homeroom' teacher and the vast majority of their schoolwork is done online. Most of our students come in more often than that just to have a safe place to be and to get some type of a meal." explains Keri. She is incredibly devoted to the goal of meeting these At Risk Teens basic fundamental needs because she sees the huge difference even the smallest of donations can make.
Donated money and toiletries can't buy happiness but they can aid cleanliness and that helps towards self-dignity and confidence of these newly emerging young adults. The school supply donations are the tools to aid their learning process of course and that helps them to become the best they can possibly be.
As you can imagine, through no fault of their own, these At Risk Teens are often deprived of some of life's basic essentials. This is where Keri comes in. Heart Happy homes wants to raise awareness to this cause. Keri has a seemingly endless commitment and we want to thank her and help her.
Keri's job as Resource Development Coordinator for the Colorado Springs Region is to secure resources (namely food, clothing, hygiene products, school supplies, medical needs, emotional support, etc.) for the students. The school also aims to actively engage any family members that are involved in supporting the students' education.
"The School funding has never been adequate enough for us to help provide the most basic of needs for these great kids. Every single year the budget is decreased and the staff frequently spend thier own money to assist our students. Unfortunately, with almost 800 students in El Paso County, the need is much greater than even the school funds and that which comes from the pockets of the school staff can provide."
They have been working with Care and Share, for about 2 years, to help with some of the nutritional needs of the students and that has been really helpful. Keri is seeking further help, she would like to be able to partner with companies, individuals, and agencies to help get these wonderful, hard working kids some help.
So what's needed? Basic hygiene products such as:-
- hand cream
- skin cream
- shaving cream
- feminine hygiene products
basic school supplies they primarily need are:-
- spiral notebooks
- colored pencils
The public can help by donating these kinds of unopened toiletries and personal hygiene products (travel sized toiletries are particularly useful). Even more wonderful is the donation of gift cards to Target or Walmart. These gift cards will be used to purchase hygiene items and school supplies. Keri pays particular attention to when they are on clearance so they can really get the most out of every donated dollar. The items are given directly to the At Risk Teen students by the staff. Counselors, principals, and teachers, are all involved in allocating the resources through all four schools in the Colorado Springs Region.
Keri can provide anyone with a tax deductible receipt because they are a public, not for profit school, any gift cards or newly purchased items are tax deductible.
Heart Happy Homes at RE/MAX Properties, Inc. is also very happy to recieve donations and donated goods at our Chapel Hills Office, call ahead of time if you want to make sure we are in or feel free to leave with the awesome Front Desk Staff at RE/MAX Properties, Inc. Office building for our attention. If you can possibly stop for a catch up over a cuppa tea or coffee we'd love to make time for you, or alternatively Ashley or I can work in a 'pop by' to local addresses to pick them up from you directly. We will get these items to Keri on a regular basis and we are happy to run this for as long as is needed.
Please join us and help these At Risk Teens to become incredible young adults with a positive experience of what real community spirit is. Thank you we appreciate you all!