Milagro Center To Expand Essential Mentoring For At-Risk Youth Through The “Level Up Program” Funded By United Way Palm Beach County

DELRAY BEACH, FL – Milagro Center has received a major grant from United Way Palm Beach County to launch the “Level Up Program” for 11 to 19-year-olds who are directly involved with or at-risk of entering the Juvenile Justice or Dependency system.

The goal of the program is to match the teens with a long-term, positive role model, make referrals to community-based services, and provide opportunities to continue education or career exploration. Three hubs, one of which being the Milagro Center, will be planted across Palm Beach County to serve teens in the northern, central, and southern areas of the county.

The grant, which totals $110,000 per year for up to three years, will greatly expand and enhance Milagro Center’s existing mentoring program to better serve at-risk children and teens in the most economically challenged neighborhoods of South Palm Beach County, according to Barbara Stark, President and CEO of Milagro Center.

“At Milagro Center, we have seen first-hand that mentoring can have an extremely powerful effect on the life trajectory of at-risk youth,” said Stark. “It is our goal to ensure that each one of our students has the opportunity to build a positive, trusting relationship with an adult mentor to set their lives up for continued success in school and beyond.”

According to “The Mentoring Effect,” a national study conducted for The National Mentoring Partnership, “The consistent, enduring presence of a caring adult in a young person’s life can be the difference between staying in school or dropping out, making healthy decisions or engaging in risky behaviors, and realizing one’s potential or failing to achieve one’s dreams.” The problem is that a significant mentoring gap exists – especially for at-risk youth. The study reveals that more than one in three young people — an estimated 16 million — never had an adult mentor while they were growing up.

“Studies show that when structured mentoring is used as an intervention strategy, young people are 81% more likely to participate regularly in sports or extracurricular activities, 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities, and 55% more likely to attend college,” Stark pointed out.

With all that our world is facing today, it’s more important than ever for kids to have a caring adult in their life who will encourage and empower them through real life decisions. Right now, in Palm Beach County, 1,050 kids are waiting to be matched with a mentor. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or if you know a youth who could benefit from the “Level Up Program”, visit www.milagrocenter.org/portfolio-items/level-up-mentoring/

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ABOUT MILAGRO CENTER:

Established in 1997, Milagro Center is a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure the social and academic success of underserved children and youth through Cultural Arts, Living Values, Academic Support, and Mentoring.  Milagro Center provides afterschool and summer camp programs for children from Kindergarten through 12th  grade and operates three separate Centers – the S.T.A.R.S. Center for elementary age children, the Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Milagro Junior Teen Center for its middle school Junior Teen Leadership Program and the Milagro Teen Center for its high school Teen Leadership Program.  Milagro Center has consistently achieved a 100% graduation rate for its high school seniors and a 100% matriculation of its third-grade students to fourth grade.  For more information about Milagro Center, visit www.MilagroCenter.org or call 561-279-2970.