L.A.U.N.C.H.

A World for Children’s Launch a Life Campaign

Each year, A World for Children hosts a summer camp geared towards engaging, inspiring, and motivating our foster care youth. In the heart of Brownwood, Texas, our teens experience four days of a jam packed schedule including a career fair, interactive games designed to educate youth on financial responsibilities, and many other activities that are both information and fun.

At AWFC, we believe in the importance of preparing our foster youth for aging out of the system and becoming successful adults. We started our Launch a Life Campaign to help fund the costs associated with our camp.

Meet Mary

“My name is Mary and this is my story. When i was 9 the State removed me from my biological home because my parents beat me daily. Even though my parents hurt me, they were the only parents I knew. I was terrified to be with another family. It took me several months to begin to feel comfortable. My foster parents kept reminding me that I was safe; that they would take care of me and I did not have to worry. I started to trust them and began to feel closer to them. They were wrong. Within six months I was taken back to my biological parents. Everything was fine for a little while but then the physical abuse began again. Finally, the case worker came back to get me. This time I was not scared; I was angry. How dare they not keep their word! How dare they let me be hurt again! I was 13. In hour years I went through 13 placements and 7 different schools. At the age of 13 I had no hope and no dreams. Kids like me ad no one who cared and no real future. We were just “foster kids”. Other kids could think of what they wanted to be when they grew up; could plan for college and think about getting married someday, but not me. That life was not for me. The path that was laid out for me was one of pure survival and my options were very limited.”

Mary is not the only child who has ever faced these circumstances.

This is the story of so many in our care – kids who are hurt, broken, and have no hope. The statistics on foster care youth are staggering.

  • 58% of the prison population are former foster children
  • Within 18 months of emancipation 40-50% of foster youth become homeless
  • 50% of young women will be mothers within a year of emancipation from foster care
  • Within 2 years of emancipation 51% will be unemployed
  • 46% of foster children complete high school
  • 36% of all women in prison were abused as children
  • 33% of all foster care alumni have no health insurance
  • 25% of foster youth will be incarcerated within the first 2 years of emancipation
  • 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the vicious cycle of abuse.
  • Children who experience child abuse and neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit violent crimes

The statistics paint a heartbreaking picture. At 18, foster youth age out of the system and face a world with limited life skills. Homelessness, crime and poverty are only a few of the devastating outcomes. It is not only a tragedy for the youth but a tragedy for our society. We’ve created a program to combat this serious problem.

Launch Camp: What it is and what we do

Launch Camp is a program we designed to inspire, motivate, and prepare our teens for entrance into the adult world. This dynamic camp aims to promote relationship building through mentoring and team building activities, prepare teens through educational workshops, and provide activities to build their self-esteem. Launch Camp is followed up with monthly Launch meetings in their various satellite offices where we work to reinforce and supplement the objectives of our camp.

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Camp Objectives

To help foster youth create lasting connections that will carry on throughout the program and beyond. Because many of our kids have lived in survival mode, we work hard to create a meaningful camp with a powerful theme that helps them find true value in themselves.

Location

Launch Camp is a four day, three-night camp set in Brownwood, Texas, at the Heart of Texas Camp

Camp Culture

Positive attitude and positive behavior reinforcement

Camp Activities

Activities include a career fair complete with business professionals, college representatives, and military recruitment personnel. We also have an interactive activity where teens are taught the importance of budgeting. Our four day camp is packed with information, thought-provoking and fun adventures!

Proposed Outcomes

While preparing for overcoming obstacles to their success through developing problem-solving skills, team building activities, and mentoring relationships, youth will identify fears and barriers to their success, develop and set goals, and build healthy relationships. Youth who are leaving care will have a plan for their future through goal development and mentoring.

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YOU can help break the cycle of abuse.

In the past few years the cost of our Camp has cost over $90,000. This cost includes food, lodging, entertainment, guest speakers, prizes, travel, etc. This is why we need your help.

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