Friday, December 11, 2015

National Child Awareness Month Youth Ambassador Program

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Over the summer I was chosen as Rhode Island’s Youth Ambassador for the National Child Awareness Month program and received a $1000 grant.  I represented The Challenge T.E.A.M (Together Everyone Achieves More).  In September, I travelled to Washington, D.C. for a three day training program.  
One ambassador, between the ages of sixteen and twenty-two, was selected from every state, and Washington, D.C.  We spent three days together receiving leadership training and getting tools to bring home to our project.  We heard from many speakers who shared with us ideas on how to best run a year-long project, with a final event planned for April or May of 2016.
The Challenge T.E.A.M. is run by Kimberly and Marc Rose.  Kim is a licensed social worker, and her husband Marc is a former police officer.  They started the program when Kim was working at an organization that served foster children aging out of the system.  They realized that many of these youth had never had anyone in their life help them set and work towards goals.  The team works out together two nights a week at various locations in the Providence area using materials that can be replicated in a small space with little to no money. The idea behind this is to have visible results to show the youth that they can achieve their goals.  Each person on the team also sets other personal goals (job-related, school-related, etc.).  Everyone supports one another on all levels and checks in with each other frequently.
The money received from this grant will allow the Challenge T.E.A.M. to provide binders to each member to keep track of his or her goals.  It will also allow them more flexibility in finding locations for the winter months when they cannot work out outside (they could pay a small fee to reserve an indoor location if necessary).  In April or May the T.E.A.M will work to put on an event that they will discuss over the course of the year.  It may be a fun run 5k similar to one they put on last year.  Currently, the T.E.A.M is trying to recruit more youth in need so that they can help more people achieve their goals.  I look forward to working with the team this year.  

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