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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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


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


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:


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


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


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


More than 90% are not involved in gang activity.


98% have not been incarcerated.


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…


$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


“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


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


Thank you.

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