Meet FOTC2a

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Meet A.J. In elementary school, he was suspended 22 times. In one year. He lived with his mother in a rundown neighborhood, surrounded by gangs and drugs. He was just the kind of child we look for.

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We matched A.J. with a Friend who would be a positive force in his life -- four hours each week, 52 weeks each year, until A.J. graduated from high school.

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Today, AJ (#2 in the photo) is a star player for Jefferson High School. He’s being recruited by Division I colleges and will probably receive a full scholarship. His life has turned around. And that’s just the kind of result we work for.

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Friends of the Children was founded in 1993 by Duncan Campbell. Duncan was an “at-risk youth” before the term even existed. After succeeding in business, he decided to use his wealth to help kids just like he used to be.

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Our work is based on a bedrock principle: The single most important protective factor that fosters resiliency in high-risk children is a caring and sustained relationship with a supportive adult.

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These adults, whom we call “Friends,” are full-time, paid professionals who bring both experience and heartfelt commitment to working with at-risk children.

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Our Friends are diverse: 60% are people of color, 50% are women, ages range from the twenties to the fifties, and they come from all walks of life.

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Each Friend receives extensive training, supervision, and support from our program staff.

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Each Friend works with no more than 8 children. Each child has a Friend from 1st through 12th grade.

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Friends also maintain regular contact with each child’s family to keep us connected to the most important influences in the child’s life.

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Graduate from high school with a positive plan for the future. Avoid involvement in the criminal justice system. Avoid early parenting. We set 3 clear, measurable goals for each child in our program:

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Based on results from our Portland chapter alone, we can already see that Friends of the Children is making a difference…

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98% of children in our program are still in school, and 97% have passing grades.

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97% are not using drugs or alcohol on a regular basis.

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More than 90% are not involved in gang activity.

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98% have not been incarcerated.

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Dropping out of high school Becoming a teen mother Becoming a career criminal 0.0 0.5 1.0 $1.5M Total lifetime cost to society and taxpayers per individual (net present value.) $1.3 million $800 thousand $500 thousand Friends of the Children also benefits the larger community by removing costs that can be incurred when at-risk children do not receive early and sustained care…

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$50,000 Residential care program $50,000 Juvenile incarceration Adult incarceration Friends of the Children $10,000 $30,000 $20,000 $40,000 $47,000 $27,000 $8,100 And when compared on a per-child basis, the annual cost of supporting an individual in our program is considerably less than the alternatives taxpayers often must bear. Annual Cost

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“In my professional life, I’ve seen only a few programs that I think have a shot at really making a difference. What [Duncan Campbell] created in Portland could change the way this country tries to help its children.” Gary Walker, President Public/Private Ventures

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And that’s only part of our story. To find out more, please call Vanessa Wilkins at 503.281.6633, or visit us on the Internet at www.friendsofthechildren.com.

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Thank you.

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