Educate Tomorrow is meeting a crucial need in Miami by supporting our Community's most vulnerable population. We are dedicated to serving any student in need through our various programs and partnerships with various Community Partners. Our students never age out and will never be turned away. The majority of our students are able to qualify for the Florida tuition Waiver and Educate Tomorrow is determined to make sure that the tuition waiver is being used successfully by supporting High School and College Students reach their education related goals. To Find out more information about how we are Filling the Gap and if you qualify for the Tuition Waiver please click here.
Educate Tomorrow addresses the issue of educational attainment by integrating activities designed to support the physical, emotional, social, and academic needs of participating youth. This holistic emphasis on the interconnected skill sets of our youth serves to differentiate our program from more traditional mentoring programs, enabling it to be more effective in impacting the lives of our youth.
Educate Tomorrow began in 2003 as a traditional mentoring program, with mentors facilitating more than 25,000 volunteer hours towards our youth's pursuit of their college dreams by assisting them in planning and achieving their educational goals (). For teenagers transitioning out of the foster care system, providing support and access to information is often a quite intensive process, since navigating the ill-defined path through the levels of bureaucracy they confront can require a substantial effort and finesse. Unlike most youth, they must contend with a foster care system that is complex and consists of private organizations, government agencies, and the public school system. The assistance Educate Tomorrow provides was designed to meet these specialized needs. Furthermore, transitioning youth often became legal adults without having first gained the basic life, social, and emotional skills that most young adults acquire from a family environment; Educate Tomorrow makes considerable effort to fill this gap. As a result, Educate Tomorrow is currently focused on a three-part holistic program -designed to meet the educational, independent living, developmental and job placement needs of foster youth.
The cornerstone of Educate Tomorrow's program is one-on-one educational mentoring. A volunteer from the community is matched with a foster youth seeking a mentor. Each mentor is provided with Educate Tomorrow's mentoring curricula and receives training in (1) the specific needs of foster youth, (2) developing and achieving an educational goal plan, and (3) the principles of the Transition Framework. The Transition Framework, is based on the work of William Bridges (), and provides a model for understanding and managing the emotional aspects of foster youths' transition to adulthood and to academic achievement.
Dr. Ruby K. Payne has found that there are four reasons people leave poverty, one notable consideration is "sponsorship, (i.e., an educator, spouse, mentor, or role model), [and] convinces them that they could live differently ()". Educate Tomorrow provides foster youth with reliable adults to fill this role, who guide and sponsor our youth to ensure that they achieve independence through education.
Life Skills and Educational Success Events
Succeeding in school is impossible when fundamental, independent living skills have not yet been mastered. Educate Tomorrow sponsors events each month, these events are available to all foster youth and their mentors in which Educate Tomorrow staff, community service providers and professionals provide workshops and facilitate discussions on nutrition, budgeting, time management, career planning, housing options, and healthy living, among other topics.
Direct Education and Career Support
Through a generous donation in 2012 a Mentee Resource Center was designed and completed at the Educate Tomorrow office. The Mentee Resource Center provides students with access to the most highly effective educational software and test prep materials available on the market today. Educate Tomorrow has added a trained educator that provides Mentee's with structured one-on-one educational and career support, strengthening their knowledge, skills and abilities. Educate Tomorrow goal is to see college graduates who are prepared for the workforce by providing them with opportunities to network, build their resume and have effective communication skills through strategic partnerships with corporations and organizations in Miami.
Educate Tomorrow's Mentee Resource Center is open Monday-Friday at Educate Tomorrow's office and provides free access to PERT, FCAT, GED, SAT, ACT programs from proven companies like Merit, Kaplan, MyFoundations and Prepworks. Tutoring, financial planning, job searches, resume building, internship opportunities and a safe fun environment to meet and do homework is available. Anyone in Miami in highschool or college that can benefit from these services is invited, no one will be turned away.
Summer Enrichment Programs
Summer Enrichment Programs are organized each summer for our youth ages 13-17 that engage them in a life skills learning curricula. They are designed to encourage students to complete high school and to inspire them to pursue college level education. Programming incorporates activities in team building, arts and culture, mindfulness, character development, educational needs for career advancement and weekly interactive field trips.
Power, Purpose, and Presence
The Women’s Executive internship, also known as Power, Purpose, and Presence (PPP) is an innovative approach to the workforce preparedness for highly vulnerable young women. Built on an executive internship model. participants work with external instructors who hardness multidisciplinary self-reflections activities to build self-awareness, self-confidence, and aid in overcoming traumatic experiences.
College Programs are essential to our continuous support for our students. We have partnered with Miami Dade College for Educate Tomorrow@Single Stop and with Florida International University for Fostering Panther Pride. Students are able to meet one on one with staff for academic planning and support.
Educate Tomorrow's International Program began in Kabey Fo, Niger, a small village located southeast of Niamey in West Africa. The village has a population of about 200- roughly 35 men, 55 women and 110 children. The school is host to 6 grade levels, adult literacy classes and is used for village forums. The Primary School was built in 2003 and has four classroom education centers. Educate Tomorrow pays for the students' meals, school supplies, transportation, boarding and other expenses. In addition, the organization has built and stocked a health care facility and trained health care workers to treat the people of the village. Today, Educate Tomorrow's programs in Miami are much larger in scale than the Niger program, but Niger remains close to the heart of co-founder Virginia Emmons and CEO Brett McNaught, who both served as Peace Corps volunteers in Niger from 2000-2003.
During the 2011-12 school year, 64 children received a quality education with paid and trained teachers, food, medicine, permanent classrooms, school supplies and tutoring. Of the 64, 61 advanced to the next grade level, a 95% success rate and the Kabey Fo Primary school was the highest rated primary school in the area. Also, Educate Tomorrow provided enough medicine for the entire village and solar for the school.
For the 2012-13 school year, 71 students are being served through Educate Tomorrow's programs and the students are in grades 1-11, 11% growth over last year.
In the summer of 2012 flooding on the Niger River was the worst in decades and many fishing villages in Educate Tomorrow's impact area of Kirtachi were washed away leaving hundreds of families not only without homes but without their fishing gear to go back out and catch the fish they rely on for food and trade. Educate Tomorrow through the financial support of many Returned Peace Corps Volunteers from Niger has been able to provide fishing gear to 128 families along the Niger River from August 2012-November 2012.
Click this link to hear more about how Virginia and Brett met in Niger http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRSrYGZewcA
Mentored foster youth in our program increase their grades and stay in school. They are more likely to continue on to higher education, exhibit greater self-esteem and improved interpersonal skills, and have greater communication skills. Educate Tomorrow youth leave with positive educational and career goals that they are infinitely more likely to realize than an at-risk youth without a mentor is.
The positive impacts of mentoring are visible in the current successes of youth participating in our program. Currently more than 90% of Educate Tomorrow's youth are currently enrolled in an educational institution or gainfully employed. Over the nine years of our operations, our mentors have successfully guided youth to (1) complete their high school diplomas, (2) to complete the associate's degree and certificate programs, (3) to obtain their bachelor's degrees and (4) to obtain Master's degrees.
We are also exceedingly proud to report that we currently have 10 vocational certifications, 20 Associates degrees, 14 Bachelor's degrees and 5 Masters degrees our alumni have earned. We currently have 2 studnets in Law School.
 Bridges to Independence, Walden Family Services. San Diego, CA, 2005; Engaging Youth in the Transition Framework, The Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service Institute for Sector Innovation, University of Southern Maine, February 2008.