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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Helping Dedicated People Do More

There are so many dedicated people and organizations around our country whose commitment to youth is just breathtaking. It’s so fulfilling when Lifeplan can help them do even more. That’s how I feel about our association with Cincinnati Arts and Technology Center (CATC). CATC is a nonprofit after-school program for inner-city youth that provides arts credits towards graduation. At the same time, in a safe and loving environment, it helps kids take accountability for their futures. 

CATC added Lifeplan to its curriculum offered to at-risk high school youth. These kids faced nearly unimaginable challenges — one girl, a parent herself, lost her mother to a heroin overdose during the program — but also showed great leadership potential. They had to ask to participate in Lifeplan, thereby making the choice: “I want to do something different.” So the students would attend on a consistent basis, CATC promised each a savings account with $80 if they missed no more than one session. This incentive was very successful and appreciated by the students.

When it was time to identify people to join their Lifeplan Boards of Directors, most of the kids asked Lifeplan facilitators. It was poignant that they knew no adults outside the center who could be positive role models. The CEO said, “It really brought home to me the importance of the role that we all play for these kids.”

When Lifeplan concluded, these budding leaders said the most valuable thing about it had been discovering “things about myself that I never knew” and “being self-confident in my future.” All the kids said it was a great investment of their time. One very withdrawn young woman, who had been embraced and encouraged by the group, was vivacious and confident by the end of Lifeplan — and had been accepted to a college. Others began a jobs program at a local hospital, reflecting on their Lifeplan learning all the way. The CEO enthused, “Lifeplan really supported part of our mission: to help kids get to where they can successfully create their own lives.”

How thrilling it was to support CATC’s efforts and help these worthy young people thrive!

All the best,


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