We exist to empower teens from hard places to reach their full potential.
We aim to rebuild foundational trust in youth who have faced abuse, neglect, or related traumas at home or through the system by connecting them with an audacious and intentional community of relational resources.
We believe their passions are legitimate, their dreams are attainable, and their wisdom is priceless. We aim to play the long game in their lives by intentionally creating a safe space that engages the mind-body-and-spirit of each young person who walks through our doors.
The thing about kids in the system is that we react to abnormal situations in a normal way yet we get the label of bad kid. That's what happened to me...
Every young person who walks through our doors is introduced to our Journey to Independence. We understand that this journey is not linear, and we support our youth as they grapple with ups and downs.
Our goal is to meet each youth where they are and walk alongside them towards their goal.
According to Maslow’s diagram, the most standard tier of survival involves meeting the Physiological Needs of an individual which include biological requirements such as air, food, shelter, etc. Many of the social services that are offered to teens are designed to meet these standard needs by providing housing, food, and clothing; however, this is often where the support stops. Families in survival mode, living in poverty, and unsafe neighborhoods may need extra support to create soluble methods that meet the following tiers of safety, belongingness, self-esteem, and ultimately self-actualization.
That is where we step in with a helping hand. Through our Resource Program, we fill in any gaps in meeting physiological needs such as paying phone bills, assisting with rent, and providing food for families and teens.
When it comes to safety, many of our teens come from an environment that has proven through violence, instability, and chaos that they are not safe. In other cases where the environment is safe, there are ofter other triggers that make the kids believe they are unsafe psychologically. In both cases, one’s belief that they are unsafe can create distress and instability within their mind. Be it a history of abuse, neglect, moving homes, or retribution; instability is a recurring theme within the kids we serve.
At Found Village, our teens are offered programs that ensure they are in a safe place with safe people! We meet safety needs by providing committed and consistent care–not quick fixes. Each kid is given individualized coaching to build trust and meet their specific needs. We are a consistent and predictable presence in their lives. By having a predictable schedule and a safe coach, they learn that people here can be trusted. We want our teens to understand that though hurt happens in relationships, so does healing! Overall our hope is that they are presented with a fresh lens on life that shelters them with emotional security and social stability. We want their safety and support to extend to future environments as they learn skills and protective measures to stay safe in school, home, and outside environments.
Humans are wired for relationships. At Found Village relationships are our lifeline. Unfortunately, many of our teens have a history of destructive relationships that have left them feeling isolated and unheard.
We meet belongingness needs by providing a safe space of trust, honesty, and communication. We facilitate connections to other peers for them to learn about true friendships, being vulnerable with your story, and to realize they’re not alone. By building healthy relationships with our youth, we create a culture that extends belongingness and love. We put the children first, and move at the pace unique to each one.
At the third tier of development, we find the needs associated with building esteem. Without a fortified self-esteem, one is left feeling unworthy of love, support, and respect. This is one of the most challenging areas to overcome and reconstruct within our teens who often have a history of experiences that deteriorated their esteem.
We meet esteem needs by building our kids up. We present them with new challenges that will help them build confidence and identify their interests. By having a diverse group of people who they are connected to, gaining validation, and are consistently being encouraged in their strengths, we build a support network that lasts. Their passions are legitimate, and their dreams are attainable. We encourage kids to see their value and teach them to celebrate their achievements.
Our purpose is empowering teens to meet their full potential. We do not give up on our teens and are here for the long-run! Until we are confident in one’s ability to maneuver through the world, fully self-aware and equipped to take on life’s many challenges, we are here. This looks like offering career coaching, budget training, encouraging postsecondary education, and more to advocate for each individual. We want to see our kids mobilize out of poverty and catapulted onto a trajectory of lifelong success.
This program is the foundation of our holistic well-being initiatives. Coaches give the teens one-on-one life coaching and mental health support.
The Enrichment Program enables our youth to receive educational support, personal tutoring, and a host of new experiences and activities.
The Creative Program supports creative activities such as pottery, art, dance, and cooking classes.
The Wellness Program invests in getting our youth active and engaged through fitness classes, outdoor adventures, support group sessions, and group activities.
The Resource Program fills the gaps for those critical day-to-day expenses like food, household supplies, phone/internet, and bus tickets.
Launch is designed to support our youth as they get older and are ready to continue their life journey on a positive track. Participants are typically age 17-25 and are working on post-secondary education, economic stability, and relational connectivity.