Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wishbone.org - Dare Your Courage!

My good friend Beth Schmidt has created Wishbone - a non-profit that strives to bring opportunity to “at risk” high school students through direct sponsorhip of after-school and summer programs via online donors - and I'm helping her to raise funds. Unfortunately, we have three days left to raise $4, 506. If we do not reach this goal, Wishbone.org will not receive any of the $10, 494 that has already been raised. So please donate! I've included some great info about Wishbone below, but be sure to check out the website for more. And remember - every little bit helps!

What is Wishbone?
While teaching 10th grade English in South Central, Los Angeles (Watts), my friend Beth realized that her students had the ability to reach their goals but lacked the resources to do so. Instead of Steinbeck and sentence structure, Beth dealt mostly with shame, anger, pregnancy, drug issues, dissolved families, and the repercussions of working at a school on the front lines of gang wars. However, Beth realized that when given an opportunity, her students were empowered to pull themselves out of their own circumstances.

Beth ran a test model to prove her theory. She ran a marathon, raised $12,000 and sent seven of her students on out of school programs within their communities. Upon their return from these programs, all participating students had a fresh perspective on their capabilities to realize their goals. These seven students all graduated from Locke High School. They all went on to college. They all started to believe in something greater than their own circumstances.

Beth knew that she had to affect more than these seven students. As a result, the idea for Wishbone.org was born.

Wishbone.org is an online platform that empowers at-risk youth to engage in extracurricular activities of their own choosing.  The site encourages students to participate in self-reliance, researching an out-of-school program that will ignite their passion. Wishbone.org then links the student to an online donor community who can help fund the student's program to promote growth and learning. Once the student successfully submits an application, Wishbone.org matches the student with an advisor to mentor him or her through the program experience.

What does this look like?
Meet Sandra:
“The community where I live and currently attend high school is infested with gang members, drug addicts, and prostitution. I have watched policemen raid my home several times. I have watched most of my male friends who are not a part of gangs lose their lives in my community. During high school, I was challenged by my own community’s struggles, and it was difficult for me to look past the gates of my high school and dream of something bigger. Winning one of Ms. Schmidt’s scholarships in my sophomore year and being able to research any program in Los Angeles to pursue made me have faith in people again. It made me realize that people care. UCLA’s Mock Trial Institute showed me that my journey to become a great lawyer is not going to be an easy ride. For the first time, I was in a competitive environment with 75 other students who were equally as interested and as determined to become lawyers in the future. Because we were all the same age, I realized that any choices I make must be extraordinary."

You can help a student like Sandra today. Log on to TippingBucket.org and make a donation to support Wishbone.org and its efforts.

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