Walking into a busy, noisy gymnasium in early June, you wouldn’t be able to pick 10-year-old Haylee and five-year-old Bryton out of the sea of energetic smiles engaged in active learning. Like many of their chattering counterparts, and children all over the country, Haylee and Bryton are at risk.
Unlike so many children, Haylee, who is below proficiency academically, and Bryton, who struggles to create and maintain meaningful relationships and often finds himself without friends, are engaged with St. Mark Youth Enrichment. Through the powerful partnership with their school, St. Mark, and their mother, who is working and raising four children alone while living in a homeless shelter, the adults in Haylee and Bryton’s life are mitigating the multitude of risks that these children face.
St. Mark lessens the risk that Haylee will become a high school dropout. In her three years of program, Haylee has shown extensive growth in reading and writing, even winning first prize in a local American Trust Money Smart Week poster contest. The risk that Bryton will solve his problems using violence, which comes so easily to him, has been placated as he has learned to express his feelings without aggression. Both children are learning that they are lovable and capable- foundations for self-worth, which has diminished the risk of growing into adults who make decisions based on the belief that they are worthless.
St. Mark creates victors, instead of victims. Victors have the ability to be a positive influence in their family and their community and to break the cycle of poverty. St. Mark improves lives, one child at a time- one child who will touch the lives of many!