So Many Things to Talk About
So much has been happening at Educate Tomorrow over the past few months it is so difficult to share all of the exciting things at once. We are thrilled to have been mentioned in John Emerson's article this August in The Chronicle of Social Change. https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/news/2013/08/07/unleashing-college-success-for-youth-from-foster-care-nationwide-advances/?print=1
"Another exemplary Florida initiative is Educate Tomorrow’s work in Dade County. They are bringing community partners together to address academic achievement issues for those in foster care – including postsecondary education and training. Their work promoting community dialog and planning includes upcoming work with community colleges. This is an area of national need." -John Emerson, who leads Casey Family Program’s postsecondary education and training for youth from foster care
Educate Tomorrow has partnered with Miami-Dade College to start the Educate Tomorrow program at MDC. What this means specifically is that for the first time Miami Dade College will have a dedicated staff member, an employee of the college, that will work exclusively to support the 325+ students who were formerly in the child welfare system or homeless.
On another unrelated but equally exciting note. Virginia and I just returned from an 8 day RV and camping trip to Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico where we took 5 Educate Tomorrow students, our two babies and my parents. We drove 1,700 miles and visited Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon, Zion, The Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, the Navajo Nation and several Colorado State Parks. It was amazing. Here are some pictures. https://picasaweb.google.com/117109529889731677051/EliteExplorersSlideshow?feat=email
Lastly, we were also mentioned in the Miami Herald today regarding a partnership we have with the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust and the Miami Coalition for the Homeless to accurately count and support Miami's unaccompanied homeless youth ages 13-24. http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/29/3594811/miami-dade-volunteers-survey-kids.html?story_link=email_msg
Cross-Country Explorer Expedition for Former Foster Youth
Educate Tomorrow, a local nonprofit organization in Miami has selected five students to participate in its first annual Elite Explorer Expedition August 15- August 22, 2013. Selected students will be led by CEO. Brett McNaught and Founder, Virginia Emmons McNaught on a journey through the southwestern United States and be given the opportunity to explore mountains, caves and waterways along with the cultural, political and spiritual landscapes of these magnificent regions.
"This is our organizations's most intense life skills course! Many of the students that have been selected have never left the State of Florida or Traveled on an airplane before. This is an incredible, life-changing opportunity for them and us," said Brett McNaught, CEO of Educate Tomorrow.
The geographical expedition will require students to sleep in tents and involve hiking, volunteer service, patience and a dedication to learning. They will experience our Nation's national treasures, including: The Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Arches National Park and The Rocky Mountains and much more!
The five students selected are all former foster youth who have aged out of the dependency system and are currently enrolled in college. They are between 18-24 years old have been a part of Educate Tomorrow for a minimum of three months, and have a consistent track record toward educational improvement. Educate Tomorrow's summer internship program offered 9 Educate Tomorrow participants the opportunity to work in a paid internship 10-15 hours per week for 7 weeks this summer. The internship focused on building Educate Tomorrow's capacity to serve more students while providing interns with real job experience. The third goal was to build a stronger bond between Educate Tomorrow participants , staff and volunteer mentors.
Educate Tomorrow is meeting a crucial need in Miami and has been recognized nationally for its design of an innovative model program. In 2010, The White House recognized Educate Tomorrow as a top 25 "Program of Promise" during National Mentoring month. On March 8th, the prestigious College Board, Advocacy & Policy Center named Educate Tomorrow the 2013 Innovation Award winner for the Southern Region of the United States for the category of preparing students for "Getting In" to college.
The Miami Mentoring Collaboartive
Four of Miami's leading mentoring agencies have partnerd in a one-of-kind collaborative to support all efforts towards building a mentor-rich community across Miami-Dade County. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami, Educate Tomorrow, Hope for Miami and Communities In Schools are joining forces to form the "Miami Mentoring Collaborative (MMC)" with a mission to increase the number of youth that get mentoring in the county as well as improve the quality of their matches.
Beginning soon with a much needed recruitment campaign to enroll volunteers in areas of Miami where mentoring is greatly in demand, the MMC hopes to bring more mentors to a huge waiting list of at-risk youth. Through this campaign the MMC will offer a series of events uniting the volunteers from all agencies giving them the opportunity to greet and mingle and learn from experts in the field about the topics related to mentoring.
The MMC through the Mentoring Resrouce Center at Big Brothers Big Sisters will also bridge gaps in service by helping each other enroll the youth and the volunteers into the program that is the right fit for each by referring them to the right program within one of the collabirative agencies. The Mentoring Resource Center will also provide capacity building opportunities for each agency such as staff development trainings.
To find out more about the Miami Mentoring Collaborative please contact Marianne Weiss at 305 644 0066 ext 228 or Brett McNaught at 305 374 3751.
Educate Tomorrow Receives College Board's CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Award
MIAMI – Local non-profit, Educate Tomorrow (www.educatetomorrow.org) is a regional winner of the CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Award. The award was presented on Friday, March 8, 2013 by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center.
“It is an honor to be presented with the Innovation Award by College Board,” CEO Brett McNaught said. “We are thrilled to be recognized for developing an innovative program to support transitioning foster youth in the attainment of higher education. We know that when young people have a supportive community around them they raise their expectations and succeed.”
The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center chose two regional winners to be recipients of the 2013 CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Awards. Each winner received a $5,000 award to help expand or sustain their program. Educate Tomorrow was the regional winner of the ‘Getting In’ award. Contestants were judged on relevance, innovation, impact and potential.
The CollegeKeys Compact was founded in 2007 after a report issued by the College Board found that too many qualified low- to moderate-income high school graduates do not enroll in a four-year college program. The report attributed this to poor preparation, low expectations and financial barriers. The ‘Getting In’ Award targets programs that focus on searching and recruiting low-income, high achieving students to be accepted into postsecondary institutions.
Educate Tomorrow is a Miami-based non-profit organization that provides one-on-one mentorship programs for local foster youth who are aging out of the foster care system and other students in need. These mentors help youth to further their education and put them on the road to independence. The mentors and Educate Tomorrow staff integrate activities to support the physical, emotional, social and academic needs of participating youth. These activities include one-on-one mentoring, life skills, educational success events, tutoring and career support.
Nationally, less than three percent of foster youth ever obtain a college degree. 44% of Educate Tomorrow’s students over 23 years old have a college degree or certification. Foster youth in Florida have a great opportunity with the Road to Independence Scholarship, which pays for tuition and fees at any Florida university or college. The scholarship also enables them to receive nearly $1,000 per month until they are 23 years old to pay for living expenses. Educate Tomorrow helps and encourages foster youth to take advantage of the opportunities before them.
Educate Tomorrow, Corp. (www.educatetomorrow.org) is an international, nonprofit, certified 501(c) 3 organization. Educate Tomorrow’s mission is to create independence for foster youth and other disadvantaged youth through education, mentoring, and life skills training. Educate Tomorrow addresses the issue of educational attainment by integrating activities designed to support the physical, emotional, social, and academic needs of current and former foster youth in Miami-Dade County. This integration creates a program that is ultimately more effective than a more traditional mentoring program. Educate Tomorrow is guided by the principles of collaboration, accountability, and civic engagement.
Contact: Kristine B. Snively of Pristine PR at (954) 376-3683, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Making A Difference
41 of our students have now graduated from college. Graduates came from a variety of fields from certifications in phlebotomy and automotive tech to Master's degrees in Accounting, Social Work and Journalism. We are proud of all our Alumni!
The average age at time of graduation was 23.5 years old. This stresses the importance of Educate Tomorrow's policy that students never age out of our program, they can only graduate out and become Alumni.
Of our 88 students over 23 yrs old, 44% have a college degree or certification. That is compared with less than 5% of former foster youth in Florida and nationally.
93% of our students over 23 yrs old have a High School diploma or GED, compared with less than 60% of former foster youth in Florida.
The 41 college graduates have received degrees or certifications from 15 different colleges and universities. That means we need to cast a wider net and find supporters and mentors outside of Miami.
Now Offering Direct Education Services
For many years Educate Tomorrow has focused on educational mentoring and coupled that with life-skills trainings and college tours. With a project led by Leadership Miami in 2012 we were able to redesign our office to support our youth in a more direct way. We hired an education specialist, Sara Camacho in July and she has been busy putting together a ton of resources to fit the personalized needs of every person in our program. So far it has been a hit with the students who are in the know. We have had students using the Mentee resource center for successful job searches, housing applications, finacial aid, and resume writing. It has been a favorite spot for some to get their home work done or to meet wiht their mentor. We have top of the line and free ACT/SAT/GED prep software and a computer lab with internet. It is just a fun place to come by and hang out. We have partnered with the Doubletree Grand hotel to offer food at cost so we are able to offer every student that drops in a free hot and nutritous meal. I have seen it really change the way we work. I encourage more of our students, mentors and supporters to spread the word and utilize this great resource.
Mentee Resource Center
Where: 1717 N. Bayshore Drive Suite 203, Miami, FL 33139 (located on the second floor of the Doubletree Grand hotel next to the Omni station)
When: Monday 10am-5pm, Tuesday 10am-7pm, W-F 10am-5pm. Additional hours available by appointment.
Phone: 305 374 3751, ask for Sara
The Mentee Resource Center is available to anyone currently in school or wishing to go back to school from 14-24 years old (if you are over 24 you are still welcome). In June 2012 the Educate Tomorrow office was completely redesigned to offer a drop-in center for Miami students.
What we have:
We have 7 work stations with computers and internet access. We have access to unlimited free licenses to some of the best test prep and study tools available. We have an educator on site at all times to provide one-on-one support and guidance, to create study plans and educational goal plans. We assist with college applications, advice on vocational programs, financial aid, scholarships, online tutoring. As well as academic support we also help with resume writing, interview skills and job searches. If you want a mentor to assist with your educational goals we have that available too.
Want specifics? Here is what we have to offer.
Test Prep/Study Options
Skills mastery and practice
Online mastery-based resource for assessing and remediating college- and career-readiness skills in reading, writing and mathematics.
Pre-built or customized assessments
Personalized learning plans
Highly interactive learning activities that enable students to master skills at their own pace
GED Prep (Merit Software)
(Can be a basic skills program as well, though geared for the GED)
Must be done at a computer at the Educate Tomorrow office
Interactive learning activities
Self-paced, and self-correcting lessons
Student scores are tracked in a record management system that allows instructors and students to view results and print reports.
The GED Prep Bundle consists of 8 separate software programs that have been effective in preparing students for the GED exam.
Language Arts: Reading and Critical Thinking Skills
Language Arts: Writing Skills
Mathematics: Computation and Problem-Solving Skills
Prep on your own time
Just for SATs
Diagnostic test that creates a customized study plan for each student
Videos on all SAT topics
Step-by-step problem solving exercises
Lessons based on diagnostic and practice test results
Online Student and Parent Reports with Smart Reports™—progress, performance, and homework tracking
Smart Reports™. The student portal keeps you informed of your progress on each assignment as well as your performance on every tested topic. You can also view your practice test performance and analyze your strengths and weaknesses by topic area, question type, and more.
Smart Reports™ helps you stay focused on reaching your goals.
4 proctored tests per subscription
More for SAT and ACT prep
Also helps with basic knowledge
The Knowledge Toolbox is going to be useful for reference as well
Has visual, audio, and written explanations and activities for students to utilize and work from
Job Skills/Computer Literacy
Computer literacy program from everything from Microsoft word basics, to Microsoft Excel spreadsheet formulas (see catalogue list links below).
Programs have open access all the way up to the end of our product registration end date, which is April 15, 2013. This means you can learn from any course offered up until that date.
There are course basics which are also supplemented by more detailed books, like those you would buy in the stores (ex: Microsoft for Dummies) to further educate and support the learner.
10th Anniversary Gala on January 19th!
Miami’s Chapter of Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL) and its non-profit partner, Educate Tomorrow will host the 10th Anniversary ‘Havana Nights’ Gala on Saturday, January 19, 2013 from 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM at a private bay front estate located at 17575 Old Cutler Road Palmetto Bay, FL 33157. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS
“We are thrilled to be co-hosting this year’s event with the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. All of the proceeds raised will go towards our Miami non-profit programs that provide mentors and educational tools to youth who are aging out of the foster care system,” said Brett McNaught, CEO of Educate Tomorrow.
The Gala will have a Cuban ‘Havana Nights’ theme this year. There will be various headlining restaurants catering Cuban food and a local Cuban band will be performing called, ‘Spam Allstars.” Bacardi will be this year’s drink sponsor, serving a variety of unique beverages to attendees. The Gala will also feature a silent auction where guests can bid on items such as lavish cruises, exclusive sports tickets and rare wines that are difficult to find anywhere else in the world!
Educate Tomorrow will celebrate its 10th year of service in 2013. The non-profit organization is dedicated to providing one-on-one education mentors for foster care youth between the ages of 14 and 23 who are transitioning out of the foster care system.
Major event sponsors include: Stearns Weaver, Chris Damian, Gibraltar Bank, Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin, PA, Berger Singerman, Kaufman, Rossin & Co., Damian & Valori LLP, Wells Fargo, Sanchez-Medina, Gonzalez, Quesada, Lage, Crespo, Gomez & Machado LLP, Robert and Edith Hudson, Tony and Carolina Romeo, Friedman and Frost, P.L., Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, PA, Katz Barron, Cisneros Corporation/ Venevision International, The Jack Parker Corporation, Global Risk Solutions, Meland Russin Budwick, Alderman Law Firm, Harke Clasby & Bushman LLP, Hughes Hubbard & Reed, LLP, Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, PA, Robert Levenson, Aaxon Laundry Systems, Veritext and Janet Sitchin.
The event will take place on Saturday, January 19, 2013 from 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM at a private bay front estate located at 17575 Old Cutler Road Palmetto Bay, FL 33157. Sponsorship opportunities, along with in-kind food and wine donor tables, are still available. For more information, please call 305-374-3751.