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  • Fritzie Saintoiry

Building a Solid Summer: Programs Through Partnerships

Meaningful, engaging activities play a vital role in keeping kids safe during the summer. Due to the trauma that most foster care children experience, they are at an increased risk for mental health problems and may face compounding adversities. Most youth do better with structure and routine, and those with mental health issues including anxiety, ADHD and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are especially dependent on the predictable “safe zone” that school provides. These youth are at much higher risk of getting into trouble or becoming severely depressed during times of idleness and seclusion where they have little to do except watch TV.

To minimize this risk, GHH has fun and structured programs set up to keep our boys active this summer. We believe these activities build strong character, help with developing coping strategies and provide the environmental support that is necessary for youth facing challenging circumstances.

We’ve partnered with Yoga Gangsters to come to the home and lead classes with our boys every week. They specialize in classes that help youth who have experienced trauma. Deep breathing exercises, anger management and relaxation to help remain calm are just some of the valuable techniques the boys will be learning.

To further build character, throughout the summer they will be volunteering at Camillus House to feed the homeless and give back to the community. The boys will also volunteer at Community Connexion  sports summer camp. Volunteering is a great activity that gives youth a sense of purpose and belonging. Another great partnership we have established is with Motivational Edge, who will come out to GHH to do weekly music classes. One of our boys aspires to become a music producer and we’re excited that these classes will help foster his skills. Another boy in our home has an interest in agriculture, which is a great thing to learn when you’ve come from a background where fresh produce is too expensive and hard to come by. Soon we hope to start our gardening program with Slow Food Miami. Gardening teaches the boys an important skill, gives them a sense of ownership and promotes healthy eating along with many other healthy habits.

Community Connexion will provide tutoring twice a week, as well as mentoring services. This will help our boys to sharpen their studying skills throughout the summer and to stay on target with ACT prep. Victory Lane Ministries has signed on with us to teach the boys how to fix cars. They will be getting driver’s licenses this summer and what a blessing it will be to learn car mechanics in preparation for when they purchase their own!

Towards the end of the summer, we hope to take the boys on a trip. We’ll be doing a workshop on traveling since most of our boys have never even left Miami, let alone gone on a trip or vacation. Our goal is that by the end of the summer all of our boys will have passports. We will start raising money in order to make this trip possible. We would be thrilled to allow our boys to experience their first trip, and any financial donations to that program would be greatly appreciated!

Genesis Hopeful Haven could not function without our partners who support our growth. We’ve been so blessed to partner with so many amazing groups and organizations that enhance the lives of our boys and allow them to pave a path to success. We would love for you to join our team and be a part of fostering new beginnings. We plan to keep our boys engaged and productive and to continue growing our programs as the summer goes on. Join our journey as we continue Building Genesis.

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