Arizona’s foster children are being given opportunities to experience positive childhood memories, build self-esteem, understand that college is within their reach and learn life skills through Hope & A Future.
Hope & A Future is a nonprofit organization serving abused and neglected children in the Arizona foster care system by helping them reach their potential for a bright future.
The nonprofit is celebrating 10 years since opening its doors in 2004.
“After volunteering with children in foster care and learning the outcomes of these children as they got older, I knew more had to be done for these kids,” said Michael Brewer, Hope & A Future co-founder. “At the time, I didn’t realize how serving at Royal Family Kids’ Camp would positively impact the lives of not only the children, but also the volunteers – especially how it would inspire the volunteers to expand our programs.”
Now 10 years later the Royal Family Kids’ Camp is still going strong with the addition of the Teen Reach Adventure Camp for foster children who are 12 to 15 years old.
Since 2006, the summer camps have served more than 1200 Arizona foster children with the help of over 700 volunteers.
Another Hope & A Future program making life changes for the state’s foster care children is the Arizona Princess Program.
With the support of local businesses in the community, the foster girls at the teen camp get a chance to feel like a princess by getting their hair and make-up done, picking out a formal dress to attending a formal dinner and dance.
The All-Star program is also a game changer by introducing the boys at the teen camp to real life All-Stars who teach them how to set goals and overcome obstacles in their life.
Hope & A Future goes beyond the camps and provides foster children an education through their college scholarship program, Christmas celebration and gives those who turn 18 and age-out of foster care continued support.
“Only 50 percent of foster children graduate from high school, and once they “age out” of the system at 18, many become homeless and end up in jail,” Brewer said. “Our life skills program encourages these children when they are teenagers and we continue to be there for them as they get older, helping them become productive young adults.
“Only 3 percent will ever get a college degree, and in the past 10 years, we have helped provide scholarships and even attended college graduation ceremonies of children we first met when they were 10 years old,” Brewer continued.
But there is still much more we can do for Arizona’s foster care children.
You can lend a helping hand by taking advantage of the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit this year.
By donating to Hope & A Future you will receive a dollar for dollar tax credit up to $400 for a single taxpayer and $800 for married couples.
Visit www.azhope.com to learn more and provide hope to Arizona’s foster children.