StandUp for Kids – National
The arrival of the month of January brings with it a renewed focus on youth guidance and mentorship. Since its inception in 2002, National Mentoring Month is held each January highlighting the work that non-profit organizations, like StandUp for Kids, do for youth experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness across the United States.
First founded in 1990 by volunteers in San Diego, StandUp for Kids was formed seeking to provide a support system for youth who are at-risk or experiencing homelessness to end the cycle of youth homelessness in their community. Today, it is a national non-profit charity that works closely with thousands of homeless youth across the country. StandUp for Kids has grown and spread to 18 diverse locations including Orange County.
StandUp for Kids provides in-school and after-school mentoring programming to youth who are at-risk or experiencing homelessness to deter teen pregnancy, gang involvement and increase high school graduation rates. The aim is to cultivate a love and desire for learning that is present within each youth. Mentors support their mentees by providing friendship and stability through weekly life and career counseling, computer access, and homework assistance. Youth at StandUp for Kids work in collaboration with their mentors to develop productive study plans and long-term goals that lay the foundation for their future success.
StandUp for Kids also utilizes a small group mentoring model at various outreach centers. Mentors in our program provide youth with a sense of safety, hope and belonging while teaching them the critical life-skills needed to become self-sufficient. We provide our youth with transitional housing, food, clothing, hygiene items, telephone message, mail service, career counseling, educational support services, referral services and much more! Outreach Centers provide a secure accessible safe space for homeless youth to know that they are not alone, feel appreciated and heard. At these centers they are able to openly discuss their thoughts and express their feelings.
The mentors and staff at StandUp for Kids see the necessity of investing in the development of homeless youth to ensure that they have an equal opportunity for future success. They believe in the limitless potential and capabilities of each youth that walks through the doors of an outreach center. This mindset is rooted in the belief that homeless youth are just as capable of achieving greatness if provided the right support and mentorship.