After an extremely competitive proposal process, Unity Care is honored to learn that the Sharks Foundation has granted the non-profit organization $20,000 for its new gang prevention mentoring program, Project Connect.
For many individuals, living in Silicon Valley has created an enormous opportunity for prosperity and wealth. Unfortunately for many youth this is not the case. According to the State of California’s Department of Education, nearly one in three Latino students (30.3 percent) drops out of high school, while the dropout rate for African American students is 41.6 percent. The low-income/socio-economic status of many of these youth often over-exposed them to crime, gang activity, substance abuse, domestic violence, and teen pregnancy, which impact their personal motivation to achieve.
Project Connect’s goal is to minimize the number of youth at-risk of becoming gang involved by connecting each youth to at least one positive adult role model; providing access to recreational, social and cultural activities; and increasing parental/guardian involvement. As a result, the agency hopes to improve the youth’s values, behaviors and attitudes so they can look forward to a brighter future, develop into successful adults and become contributing members of the community.
André Chapman, President and CEO, who attended the grant awards ceremony on Sunday, May 2, 2010 during the Sharks’ second game of the Western Conference Semi-Finals, said, “I am thankful that the Sharks Foundation has chosen to invest $20,000 in our most underserved children. The Sharks Foundation sent a clear message that they believe every child deserves to receive nurturing guidance, and support in order to realize their human potential. Our staff and mentors who will work closely with each youth simply would not be able to provide critical life-changing services without the foundation’s contribution.”