New Match Challenge: Help Kids Like Kevin
I am excited to announce that when you give to The Child Center of NY this holiday season, our generous advisory board member Russell Carson will match what you give 1:3 up to $5 million. I’d like to tell you about one of the programs your tax-deductible contribution will help grow.
After years of providing mental health services in children’s schools, The Child Center opened the doors to our first school-based mental health clinics at NYC community schools in 2015. Community schools are public schools in high-need areas where students and their families can access social, physical health, and behavioral health services in addition to receiving high-quality academic instruction.
A simple stat shows why that’s so important: In nationwide studies, 96% of youth referred to school-based counseling followed through, compared with only 13% when referred to outside clinics. That means 83% more children — especially low-income children — are getting help for debilitating conditions, like depression and trauma.
Kevin was one of those kids. When he was ten years old, he and his sisters bounced around foster homes for a year after suffering years of abuse at the hands of their father. Kevin’s dad tried to turn over a new leaf, but soon after the kids returned home, he went back to his abusive ways. Eventually, Kevin’s mother took the kids and moved out.
But the years of abuse had taken a harsh emotional toll on Kevin. He had almost completely isolated himself, missing school for weeks at a time. His mom, an immigrant barely making ends meet, was at a loss for how to help him.
By the time Kevin was 16, he had only enough credits for freshman standing — dropping out seemed inevitable. That’s when Kevin’s guidance counselor referred him to The Child Center’s school-based mental health clinic, called a “healthfulness center,” at his school. Kevin began one-on-one therapy with Jennifer, a Child Center licensed social worker.
At first, Kevin barely spoke, and when he did, it was in one-word answers and a whisper. Over the course of a year, Jennifer worked with Kevin to identify his feelings, verbalize his thoughts, and elevate his mood. Kevin slowly improved his attendance, committed to his schoolwork — and showed off the high grades he achieved. He started smiling more and reported new friendships with classmates.
With a partnership that included Jennifer, Kevin’s guidance counselor and teachers, and Kevin himself — easier to create when they are all in one place! — Kevin graduated on time and is now attending college. That’s something he never thought possible for himself before he started therapy.
Thanks to your generous support, The Child Center was able to remove hurdles and create level playing fields for 600 kids like Kevin, who got the help they needed at our school-based healthfulness and wellness centers. Instead of dropping out, which seemed like their destiny, these kids are opting in to school and to life.
Because of The Child Center’s roots and reputation in mental health, five schools with which we had no affiliation asked us to set up on-site wellness centers — and we said yes without hesitation. How can you say no to these children?
At The Child Center of NY, our mission is to strengthen children and families with skills, opportunities, and emotional support to build healthy, successful lives. In addition to our mental health programs, we also offer early childhood education, child abuse prevention, and youth development programs that include afterschool, college readiness, and internship programs. Our numbers show there is a dire need for these programs. Last year, The Child Center went from being able to serve 21,000 children and families to serving 26,000. This increase shows that there are ever more kids who need us.
We never want to turn any child away, but we need your help. Please make your tax-deductible donation to The Child Center of NY now, on our secure online server, and give kids like Kevin the promising start all children deserve.
Thank you for your support!