When eight-year-old Aron Perez came into the after-school program at Valencia Woods one day, he couldn’t wait to see Julissa, our Resident Services Coordinator. Aron had just received an Accelerated Reading Award from the principal of his elementary school, and Julissa was the first person he wanted to tell.
A $40,000 grant from the DevTo Support Foundation for our family and after-school programs in Orange County will help make possible many more stories just like Aron’s. Jamboree’s after-school programs focus on helping kids develop the skills necessary to succeed in school, work and life. Additionally, the DevTo grant demonstrates our shared passion to build confident kids and make a difference in the lives of others.
The mission of the DevTo Support Foundation is “to empower disadvantaged youth to become independent, self-sufficient, and productive community members and to enhance the physical, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional well being of youth, individuals and families in Southern California.” They invest in mentoring, educational and enrichment opportunities in a nurturing environment for disadvantaged youth.
Jamboree Director of Community Impact Natalie Reider said, "The DevTo grant is a perfect fit in supporting Jamboree’s after-school programs. We work hard to create a safe and caring environment where kids can develop the skills that will help them succeed at school and in life. We support their development into successful adults.”
Reider highlighted three specific ways the DevTo grant would be utilized to fulfill Jamboree’s commitment to help kids and students reach their full potential.
- Establish a safe and supportive environment to enable academic achievement and relationship building, with a Resident Services Coordinator and long-term volunteers assigned to each property site so that our after-school program becomes a consistent part of students’ days.
- Encourage youth leadership. For example, a group of elementary school-aged children at one property decided to hold a talent show and led the process of planning, designing, and implementing the event. They created their own tickets and marketing materials and set up the stage for the show. Many of the youth created their own costumes and all came up with their own routines. Afterwards, they talked about what went well and what they could do to improve another talent show in the future.
- Engage kids and youth in challenging experiences to develop social and emotional skills. At Montecito Vista, our Resident Services Coordinator saw public speaking as an important opportunity to develop self-confidence and the courage to speak out. Kids were required to create and give a presentation to the other children using a personal identity map as a visual aid. They all became less fearful and more confident as they practiced and presented their projects.
Our thanks to the DevTo Support Foundation for their confidence and partnership with Jamboree in helping youth in our communities reach their full potential as successful adults.
Interested in learning more about other programs for which Jamboree is seeking grants? Contact Natalie Reider, Community Impact Director, to explore funding opportunities.