Proposal #29

 

ON ORGANIZATIONAL LETTERHEAD

 

November 14, 2004

 

Mr. Chad Joseph Blair, Director
The Blair Foundation
P.O. Box 1225
Warrensburg, MO 64093

Dear Mr. Blair:

Greetings! The introduction paragraph is purely to connect. . . Either 1) first- or second-generational connections/relationships, 2) geographic connections, and/or 3) field of interest connections/relationships.

 

By the time a young person graduates from high school, most of his or her life patterns and decisions are made. Unfortunately, many of the youth of America–and Warrensburg are making poor decisions.

Fifteen years ago, concerned people in Warrensburg created an organization to help teens and preteens make better choices. Youth for Christ provides a unique environment where youth are taught the values of honesty, friendship, developing their potential, fairness and service to others. Since 1985, Warrensburg’s Youth for Christ has positively influenced approximately 45,000 youth. Consider the comments of these parents:
"My son has participated in youth clubs for three years and I have seen dramatic growth in him as a young man. I figured being ‘Youth for Christ,’ you would make him ‘religious’ and I didn’t approve of that at all! However, he has learned to live a life of balance–How can I thank you enough for being there for him?" Father of 15 year old

"I was near the end of my rope when my daughter began attending your program. Now she has become a delightful re-addition to our family." Mother of 16 year old

"My daughter has always been a good girl but was overly shy. Youth for Christ has helped her develop healthy friendships with youth and adults--it has been a wonderful experience for her. Thank you for providing positive role models." Single mother of 14 year old

and to the comments of these teenagers:

"I found meaning and purpose for my life at youth clubs! Thank you very much." 15 year old boy
"Because of YFC, I have a better idea of right and wrong. I make better decisions." 13 year old girl
"Before I started attending youth clubs, I had never had a relationship with an adult.." 17 year old girl.

Youth for Christ was created and exists for the youth of Central Missouri. Our primary objective is to instill positive values and living skills to youth in a unique, nonthreatening environment. In Youth for Christ, youth can develop healthy friendships where peer pressure can become a positive influence. Opportunity is given for training in serving others and in learning traditional concepts of life. This is currently being accomplished with seven full time staff workers and over 80 adult volunteers.

Greater Warrensburg Youth for Christ has touched the lives of 7,000 youth in during the past four months through Campus Life, Junior Varsity, City Life, and the Youth Guidance Program. While this is exciting, we are even more excited about the future and the huge potential for expanding this positive influence–especially to "special needs" groups.

We are now faced with an opportunity to initiate two much-needed programs into our city: The "Fast Break Mentoring Program" for high-risk boys and girls in middle school and high school in the area, and the "Teen Moms Program" for young mothers city-wide. These programs are designed to build "mentoring" relationships into the lives of youth that are desperate for the help. The urgency of the programs was called for in the Mayor’s Campaign for Kids. The Greater Warrensburg Youth for Christ is ready and positioned for response. We are ready and able to immediately begin the programs that will provide a tremendous opportunity to teens who would not normally benefit from other similar social-service programs.

Would you please fund the seed money to begin these two crucial programs as soon as possible?

We are respectfully submitting this proposal to you and asking you to consider helping us provide these programs to an important group of youth. The only barrier to our beginning these programs is financial. Thank you for considering our request. The hope of its’ approval is a boost to us.

I am eager to discuss this proposal with you. If you have any concerns, if there is a need for additional materials to be filled out, if I can answer any questions to facilitate this process, or if I can meet and discuss it with you, please call me at (660) 747-6390.

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Karen Winford, Executive Director
Greater Warrensburg Youth for Christ

Enclosure

 

Greater Warrensburg Youth for Christ
Summary Page

 

Youth for Christ Vision and Mission:
As a non-denominational Christian organization, the message we share with teenagers is called "The Balanced Life." It emphasizes a balance between the social, emotional, physical, and spiritual areas in one's life. We exist to create an environment that presents positive values to youth from seventh through twelfth grade, connecting them with other youth and positive role models, to instill in them a moral lifestyle and to train them to serve others with their lives.

Project Statement:
This proposal requests you to partner with us to fund two programs in our city: the "Fast Break Mentoring" Program for high-risk boys and girls in middle and high school in the area, and the "Teen Moms" Program for pregnant teens and young mothers, city-wide. Both of these programs are designed to build "mentoring" relationships into the lives of youth that are desperate and crying out for the help. In addition, the urgency of these programs was called for in the Mayor’s Campaign for Kids. Specifically, we would like you to help with initial start-up costs to initiate and staff these two programs. The dynamics of our mission are:
• To provide quality functions, service, and resources to mentor, help coach, encourage, and equip youth.
• To increase the return on each dollar invested toward building healthy young people in Missouri.
• To increase the efficiency of dollars spent on youth programming while enhancing the lives of youth.

Target Market:
There are more than 99,781 youth in the seven counties served by the Greater Warrensburg Youth for Christ. The target market includes the population of youth between seventh and twelfth grade–just under a hundred thousand, and the families that have been impacted by a youth from current programming–over one-half million residents of Missouri.

Organization:
Greater Warrensburg Youth for Christ, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3), not-for-profit organization founded in Warrensburg, CA in 1985 and is governed by a local board of directors consisting of nine families (see Board of Directors Page on Page 10). Greater Warrensburg Youth for Christ, Inc. operates under the umbrella of Youth for Christ U. S. A., Inc. a parent nonprofit group for the local chapters based in Englewood, Colorado (see attached 501 (c)(3)’s).

Primary Contact:
Mrs. Karen Winford, Executive Director         (660) 747-6390, voice
Greater Warrensburg Youth for Christ, Inc.    (660) 111-2222, cell
P.O. Box 1225                                           e-mail: karenwinford@YFCWarrensburg.org
Warrensburg, MO 64093                              website: www.YFCWarrensburg.org

Financial Request and Purpose:
The needs of an expanding organization like ours are substantial at this critical time. Our current and immediate needs are such that we are asking you for a grant of $ 100,000 to fund the "Fast Break Mentoring" Program and the "Teen Moms" Program (See Project Budgets on Page 5 and Organization Budget on Page 9). This will allow the laying of the groundwork for ongoing work with high-risk youth and families throughout Warrensburg. An increase in resources would greatly increase the quantity and depth of youth involvement.

TOTAL AMOUNT REQUESTED: $ 100,000.

Evaluation and Accountability:
The progress and effectiveness of Greater Warrensburg Youth For Christ will be determined by ongoing analysis and oversight of staff, Advisors, and Board of Directors. Because we are committed to integrity, we are willing to complete any reasonable evaluative measure that you request.

 

Greater Warrensburg Youth for Christ
Proposal

The Need:
The youth of America have struggles and stresses never before seen in history. Recent sensational stories of school-house killings, sex posses, and animal sacrifices are just the tip of the iceberg. In the last 30 years there has been a 500% increase in teen pregnancy and a 300% increase in suicide among young people. Every year over 1.5 million U.S. teenagers contact sexually transmitted diseases, 1 million brought aweapon to school, and 2 million used drugs or alcohol. The moral decline in the youth of America is beyond dispute.

There are many theories advanced as to why our youth are in a moral free fall. We believe that youth need to see better examples and have relationships with people who can help them along the way to healthier lives.

The most important influence of course is the family. A strong stable family decreases the risk of drug addiction and criminal behavior. Unfortunately, the modern day family is also in crisis. Over 50% of marriages end in divorce, the number of unwed mothers is skyrocketing, and alcohol or drugs are dominant forces in many families. Home is not the place where many of the youth in our culture learn moral behavior.

Even in stable religious homes the pressure of our society is having negative effects. Less than 50% of children in these families want a marriage like their parents. Over 40% of youth from good homes have had sexual intercourse by age 18, 50% are stressed out, and 74% say they are looking for answers. This is in the good homes!

The next line of defense in developing moral behavior has been religious institutions. Churches or synagogues have been places to learn a systematic approach to morality that supplements the family values. Religious institutions do have influence in developing moral behavior. However in the morals of sex before marriage, cheating, and being untruthful, the unchurched youth are only 5% more likely to engage in such immoral behavior.

The final factor in the development of traditional values in youth was the public school. In the past, schools were a crucial positive influence on moral development. This has all changed in the past few decades. The ten commandments have been thrown out of the classroom and has been replaced by a philosophy of tolerance that have made it difficult for children to know right from wrong. This confusion has been fertile ground for an increase in immoral behavior among our public school youth.

The Solution:
A solution to problems that youth face has been functioning in Warrensburg since 1985: Youth for Christ. We are an organization that stands for building stronger youth by investing our lives into the lives of young people–through a "balanced life." Getting these truths incorporated into the lives of youth produces better employees, better citizens, and better people. One truth that we teach is integrity. Honesty is right and dishonesty is wrong. Honesty gives freedom from guilt and the fear of being "exposed." It gives a sense of accomplishment that can’t be obtained with cheating. It gives self confidence and trust in relationships.

Another truth that YFC teaches is sexual abstinence for youth. Sex in marriage is right, sex outside of marriage is wrong. Abstinence protects youth from guilt, unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, and emotional distress. We believe youth are capable of self control and it can be taught. Deferring sex until marriage decreases the chance of divorce, gives peace of mind, and enhances intimacy.

YFC teaches the value of parental authority. It’s right to honor your parents and wrong to rebel against them. Parents invest in the lives of their children, and children should respect their parents. A strong family results in healthier teen relationships, emotional stability, and a sense of purpose. Another value of YFC is service. Helping others less fortunate than yourself is right, following your selfish interests is wrong. This concept is captured in the acronym JOY which stand for Jesus first, others second, yourself third. Service to others protects youth from self-centeredness, gives satisfaction, and gives greater meaning to life.

An additional value that YFC teaches is that people have intrinsic value and a purpose for their lives. Using your natural gifts and talents wisely is right, wasting your potential is wrong. This means that drugs and alcohol should be off limits to youth. Education is a privilege and students should apply themselves to their studies. Finally, YFC is committed to fairness. Treating all youth with equal respect is right, preferential treatment for any reason is wrong. By treating everyone fairly, youth are protected from revenge, negative peer pressure, and better able to accept rules in their home and school life.

Youth for Christ History:
Youth for Christ/U.S.A. was founded in 1944 by a group of concerned pastors in Chicago who saw a need to reach out to teenagers. The Rev. Dr. Billy Graham was the first full-time worker for the organization. By 1998, Youth for Christ had established over 235 United States chapters and branch organizations in 127 countries around the world. The national and international headquarters are in Englewood, Colorado.

Youth for Christ focuses on adult staff and volunteers going to teens--where they are, and building mentoring relationships with them. Youth for Christ has developed over forty models in order to effectively reach out to the diverse teen population. Youth for Christ outreaches include national leadership training events, campus ministries, and programs for at-risk teens, emphasizing crisis pregnancy, AIDS prevention, abstinence education, Gang reconciliation, and non-violent conflict resolution through schools, neighborhoods, and institutions.

The Local Organization: The Greater Warrensburg Youth for Christ, Inc. was established in 1985 by a group of concerned citizens who wanted to have an impact on the youth of the Greater Warrensburg area. Youth for Christ programs have influenced over 45,000 young people in the Greater Warrensburg area. Our programs reach out to teens in junior and senior high schools in urban and suburban areas, inner city neighborhoods, and to various special-needs population groups.

We currently have several programs using the Campus Life model to help teens learn to be better citizens of our community by having weekly meetings addressing topics like anger, violence, suicide, peer pressure and other critical issues that are faced weekly–if not daily by American teens. Every Youth for Christ program goes beyond these weekly meetings to encourage and incorporate mentoring and leadership training.

Youth for Christ Program Objectives:
1. present positive moral principles to youth in a unique, nonthreatening, youth-centered environment.
2. develop and encourage friendships among youth with high moral values for encouragement and positive peer pressure.
3. develop a group of responsible adult leaders to model, teach, and mentor a moral lifestyle to youth.
4. provide training and opportunities for youth to serve others.
5. assist special population groups develop the skills necessary to overcome their obstacles.

Budget: The Youth for Christ organizational budget for fiscal year 1999 is shown on Page 9.

Timing: The implementation of both programs could take place immediately on the receipt of funding.

 

Greater Warrensburg Youth for Christ
"Fast Break Mentoring Program"

Project Description: Fast Break is designed for reaching teens at a sensitive time in their formative years.

The goal of this program is to give each participant an adult in their life that cares for them and is able to give them constructive feedback in regard to important areas of their life. Through caring mentors, these teenagers will see the value of their life and help them to develop character, experience personal growth, and responsibility in all that they do toward building a "balanced life."

Project Need: There is an incredible need for young people to develop and maintain healthy adult

relationships early in their teenage years. These mentor relationships enforce positive and supportive affirmation at a critical time. Research has indicated that it even leads to tremendous societal benefits as well. In dealing with troubled youth that are at risk of becoming chronic juvenile offenders, mentoring is especially effective. It strikes at the heart of an intense need teenagers often experience. The isolation and sense of being insecure and meaningless is often dissolved over time through long-term relationships built on unconditional love and respect.

Using three-on-three basketball as the tool, we are implementing a mentoring program that reinforces personal responsibility, development, and a positive work ethic in school and at home to meet the needs of these teens.

Project Goals and Objectives:
Goal #1: To offer hope, encouragement, life skills, training, and support to teenagers.
Objectives: Administer 10 week schedule addressing athleticism, school work, and home-life skills, and conduct practices, mentor contacts youth and family one other time during each week, and link mentor with youth on a one-on-one basis.

Goal #2: Promote positive adult to teen interaction in nurturing and understanding atmosphere.
Objective: Provide positive adult role model including feedback, interaction, and guidance.

Goal #3: Build network in community to expand outreach and develop resources.
Objectives: Recruit speakers from community to be involved in programs; recruit and train mentors from diverse backgrounds; and incorporate tours and presentations from service-providers, agencies, and churches in community.

Goal #4: Introduce and demonstrate the need for a "balanced life."
Objectives: Involve speakers from community to be involved in presenting programs.

Project Plan of Operation: The Fast Break program, centered on three-on-three basketball, will evaluate participants in three areas: 1) basketball wins and losses, 2) schoolwork (behavior, grades and attitude), and 3) home-life (chores, attitude, curfew, and church attendance). The league is designed around a ten-week session with each participant being assigned an adult mentor. The mentor will be involved in many aspects of the participant's life. The mentors will act as a coach for the team, making sure they are ready for each of their games and guiding them in their game strategy. Mentors will also meet weekly, one-on-one with their participant. This will ensure that any difficulties or problem areas in the other scoring aspects of league standing (school and home life) can be addressed and discussed. The mentor will make sure that evaluation reports from the parents and teachers are being completed and turned in on time. Appropriate feedback from parents and teachers regarding progress and growth will be gathered and shared.

The Project Budget:
The total cost of instituting and carrying out the first year of this program is $50,000. See attached.

PLEASE NOTE: The "Fast Break" policy manual is available for your perusal.


Greater Warrensburg Youth for Christ
"Teen Moms Program"

Project Description: The "Teen Moms" Program meets the needs of teen mothers primarily through a mentoring program and serves teen mothers ages 14 to 19. Our greatest service is offering a "safe place" where teen moms are accepted, encouraged, and valued!

Project Need: Warrensburg, MO ranks third in the United States in teen pregnancy. Our nation currently has over 400,000 pregnant teenagers. One of four teens will have a second child by the age of 20. We offer life skills training, hope, and support where any teen mom can experience listening, instruction, friendship, and encouragement with a person who serves as an individual mentor. This grant will enable us to:
• reach teen moms and their children.
• meet tremendous needs in unserved and neglected areas.
• incorporate satellite programs and build networks leading to more efficient service-delivery.
• link teens back to important social structures and support networks.
• build healthy adult-teen relationships.

Project Goals and Objectives:
Goal #1: To offer hope, life skills, training, and support to teen moms.
Objectives: Conduct 8 week session addressing life skills, conduct two hour weekly meetings in each of the eight weeks, mentor contacts teen mom one other time during each week, and link mentors with teen moms on a one-on-one basis.

Goal #2: Promote positive adult to teen interaction in nurturing and understanding atmosphere.
Objective: Share a pot luck dinner with 10 mentors and 10 moms prior to each meeting.

Goal #3: Reinforce importance of good prenatal care.
Objectives: Tour a neo-natal ICU at hospital, host delivery nurse to conduct meeting and answer questions on pregnancy and delivery, and show films on delivery and nutrition.

Goal #4: Emphasize budgeting and cost of raising a child.
Objectives: Role play budgeting and bill playing using "Monopoly" money, assist to develop a budget, and learn to live within their plan.

Goal #5: Build network in community to expand outreach and develop resources.
Objectives: Recruit speakers from community to be involved in programs, recruit and train mentors from diverse backgrounds, and incorporate tours and presentations from service-providers, agencies, and churches in community.

Project Plan of Operation: In the "Teen Moms" Program, trained mentors and teens commit to a one year relationship during which they spend 2-3 hours a week building a friendship. We encourage teen moms by matching them one-on-one with a mentor to address life skills and reinforce someone cares incorporating 20-25 volunteers who share their hearts, time, and experiences to enlighten the path of the teen mom. Every teen mother learns positive parenting skills and discovers life changing relationships by participating in mentoring, support groups, and attending parenting seminars:

Teen Mom: Teen moms are recruited through teen parenting programs in schools, medical clinics, and referrals from friends and loved ones.

Club Mom: Mentors, teens, and children gather for fun once a month. Teens have opportunity to interact with each other and the mentor staff. Inspirational speakers, social events and music create a safe and enjoyable atmosphere where social and living skills can be healthily built.

Support Groups: These groups are designed to meet the emotional needs. Groups include Healing for damage Emotions, Improving Your Self-Esteem, Building Positive Relationships, and others.

Parenting Seminars: A one day seminar featuring professionals speaking on a variety of issues.