STORIES OF THE HEART
Tutoring Makes The Grade
Foster children struggle academically due to educational neglect and frequent moves. They may attend 4 or more different high schools in four years. It is estimated that every time a child changes schools, they lose approximately 6 months of instruction. To assist with that challenge, the Children’s Foundation of Las Vegas covers the cost of weekly tutoring. Through generous donations, we are able to maintain a tutoring budget of $12,000 per month and have seen some amazing success stories. Many children just like Parker, with months of tutoring, are able to catch up to their peers and succeed in school.
To A Driver’s License And Beyond
As youth age out of the foster care system, preparing for independent living can be a challenge. Several hurdles remain, one of which is learning to drive and getting a driver’s license which can be impossible to attain growing up in foster care. The Children’s Foundation of Las Vegas is committed to assisting with this significant step toward adulthood by providing free driving lessons through a local company. In just this year alone, we have funded 23 youth and young adults with behind the wheel training and welcomed 13 new licensed drivers through this important program. Drive safely guys!
Being in the 5th grade is hard, especially if you have a medical condition that keeps you from regularly attending school. As Sergio’s parents struggled with their mental health, Sergio became a ward of the Court, where a distant cousin came to his rescue with a home, love, and support.
Sergio was found to be 4 years behind in his reading and math skills. While reluctant to begin working with the staff and program at The Tutoring Club, Sergio had become one of their top success stories! He is currently thriving and working at grade level in all areas of his school work. Sergio is on track to move through his school years knowing he is capable of excelling!
Technology is as common in high school as books. Teachers are requiring research that can only be found through the Internet. Assignments are being required to be e-mailed to teachers and school information is being distributed online. Yovanna was an excellent student entering her senior year of high school. At her last foster home, she was within walking distance to her local library and used the library computer system for her homework. The move to her new foster home meant taking the bus and doing a transfer to get to the closest library.
The Children’s Foundation of Las Vegas works with local businesses to purchase, at a reduced rate, computers, printers, cables, loaded with software and anti-virus software to high school students. Yovanna cried when she was presented with her own computer that will go with her wherever she lives.
Clayton was carrying the heavy burden of built-up anger from being in foster care again. His foster father recognized all the signs of anger management problems and remembered those feelings when he was a teen. Football was a release for the foster father and he talked to Clayton about finding a team. Although Clayton had never considered sports, he was willing to give it a try.
Foster families receive monthly payments for the living expenses of children in foster care, but some fees are beyond their budget. The foster father completed the Children’s Foundation of Las Vegas online request, provided the documentation supporting the amount he was requesting, and within days picked up a check to enroll Clayton in Pop Warner football.
Diabetes is in Avila’s family history, and when Avlia was 8 she was diagnosed with diabetes.
The Nevada Diabetes Association holds a summer camp that is staffed with medical professionals to help children learn to understand and control their health and diabetes. The camp is held in Northern California so traveling expenses had to be added to the expensive price of the camp. The Children’s Foundation of Las Vegas has funded the last 2 years of Avlia’s summer diabetes camp as well as diabetes training for Avlia’s Social Worker.
Cindy had been a cheerleader for 2 years. When abuse in her home was confirmed Cindy became a ward of the court and staying enrolled in her current high school and continuing with cheerleading became a big question. A relative in the school district stepped forward to be a foster care resource but did not have the $800.00 needed to keep Cindy in cheerleading. A call to The Children’s Foundation of Las Vegas secured the funding necessary for Cindy to be a cheerleader during her final 2 years in High School.
Orin & Brenda
Orin and his sister Brenda came to Las Vegas from New Jersey when they were very young. Growing up in a fast-paced city with parents struggling with drug addiction resulted in a number of stays at Child Haven and into the foster care system. Each time they entered foster care their extended families back in New Jersey were contacted about providing a home for these children. The drug addiction their parents were trying to get away from by moving to Las Vegas was due in part to their parents being involved with drugs, gangs, and living in an environment of poverty. Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins loved these children and wanted to help, but were without the resources or ability. Orin and Brenda knew they had a family back East and frequently asked to call them or visit them.
As Orin and Brenda moved through the foster care system, they called their “Back East” family and wished for the time they would be able to hug their Grandparents, be a part of the family holiday celebrations, and catch-up with their numerous cousins. Through funding from the Children’s Foundation of Las Vegas, Orin and Brenda are provided with airfare to return to their Grandparents’ home each Christmas to reconnect with their extended family. The Children’s Foundation of Las Vegas understands the positive outcomes of helping children stay in contact with their extended families.