Tests, quizzes, and homework, Oh my! It’s back-to-school season for many of the youth here at I Pour Life, and we celebrated them by having our annual Backyard Bash this past August.
This event is one of I Pour Life’s biggest youth events of the year and it is an awesome opportunity for the community to connect with the local youth and celebrate their return to school. We kicked off the celebration with dinner provided by Black Sheep Burgers, The Crepe Shack, and Mae’s Gelato, but the party didn’t stop there. Many activities such as basketball, cornhole, giant Jenga, and spikeball provided even more opportunities for connection and fun. We finished the night with live music and a pie-eating contest. This event provided a great way for the local community to celebrate our youth returning to school, meet our I Pour Life team, and have some fun!
While the Backyard Bash is a fun and exciting event for the youth, the actual return to school may not be. Tests are stressful, friendships can be hard to manage, and the amount of homework may seem overwhelming. All of these situations can take a negative toll on students, especially those without a solid support system.
Did you know, only 56% of youth in foster care graduate high school on time, and only about 70% of these youth have obtained a high school diploma by age 21? This is why guiding youth throughout their education process is so important. We do this through our LifeStrengths program where the youth work one-on-one with a certified LifeCoach. Youth are also able to build a community and support system through our monthly social capital club and house hangouts.
Through these programs, we have been able to see our youth thrive, excel, and overcome the many challenges that school presents. 82% of the youth in the life strengths program are currently enrolled in high school or have already obtained their degree! We are so proud of the youth working on their education and we cannot wait to see what more they accomplish!
It is crucial for us to see our youth succeed in school because of all the added benefits that having a diploma brings. Compared to youth who do not have a high school diploma, the youth with this high school education:
Are likely to earn 40% more in income,33% more likely to be employed, and are less likely to become incarcerated after graduating.
What can you do to help? Here are three ideas of how you can support foster youth in their return to school.
- Donate your time. Volunteering at a local high school, after school program, or I Pour Life’s Social Capital Club gives you a great opportunity to connect with the local youth in your community. This also gives you an opportunity to encourage and support the youth in a time when they may need it the most.
- Give of your knowledge. Tutoring students is another great way that you can support your local youth. This is an opportunity to show them that you care about their education and you want to see them succeed. It also allows them to excel in subjects that may not come easy.
- Donate. Here at I Pour Life, we believe deeply in investing in our youth but this is only possible with your help. Your donations allow us to continuously expand our program all across Missouri so that we can support more youth throughout their education journeys. If you would like to support foster youth, you can do so by clicking here https://ipourlife.org/give/
We are looking forward to this upcoming school year and everything that the youth at I Pour Life are going to achieve. You can stay connected by following us on social media @ipourlife or by joining our monthly newsletter at https://ipourlife.org/connect/