Avengers Youth Mentoring Organization is a Nonprofit organization located in Detroit, MI. We serve the youth that often have fewer resources available to them, which also equates fewer opportunities. Our goal is to ensure that location and circumstance are not the limits to who and what they can become. Our after-school and summer programs are designed to help them to excel in their individual talents, to become involved in their community at a ground-level, and to learn teamwork.
Founded in 2010, Avengers Youth Mentoring was created to support the health and welfare of children and youth in the Detroit Metro Area. We live the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Our staff and youth and adult volunteers foster a fair, positive, and safe environment by teaching respect for others, self-confidence, and leadership skills. As we influence the thought patterns of our youth, we teach them to change the world and create unlimited possibilities.
We service a predominately African-American youth population, many of whom live below the poverty line. Many of these youth struggle with ADHD and other learning disabilities. We provide support for struggling low-income families at little to no cost to them. Since 2010, participation in our programs increased by 50% and we have serviced over 500 children between the ages of five and twenty-four in the following areas: mentoring, life skills education, summer camps, athletics, community events and outings. Our six-week summer camps are held in Detroit and the City of Pontiac.
Creating a world where villages raise our children through mentoring, empowering them to be successful adults and in turn build loving, compassionate communities. As we influence the thought patterns of our youth we will change the world and create unlimited possibilities.
The Detroit Metro area lies within Wayne County. There are a disproportionately high number of youth under the age of 19 in Wayne County. This demographic, coupled with the high poverty and unemployment rates and a high rate of “idle teens” that are not connected to school or employment, may cause additional strain on human service programs as they reach adulthood. Continuously dropping marriage rates in Wayne County among young adults with a high school diploma or less, and the tendency for this demographic to rely on human service agencies as a safety net, suggests an ongoing demand for basic needs and emergency services.
Wayne County’s historically huge income disparity between the wealthiest and poorest communities remains and is becoming more pronounced. Between 2000 and 2010, the poverty rate among the 6 poorest communities increased by 10 percentage points more than the rate among the 6 wealthiest communities. In 2010, the average poverty rate among the 6 poorest was 36.7% and 3.7 among the 6 wealthiest. Corresponding with the concentration of poverty is the rise in deep poverty, defined as those living under 50% of the poverty limit. At over 227,000, nearly half the county’s population living in poverty is living in deep poverty.
The youth we serve benefit through improved personal power and self-efficacy, self-esteem, sense of purpose, and positive view of the future. Improvements in youth social competencies include increased empathy, cultural competence, and conflict resolution skills. Positive adult and youth relationships include better perceived support and acceptance of adult role models. We also see pronounced improvements in peer support. Youth and community connections are improved through general community support and youth being recognized as community service advocates.
We want to improve the academic performance of at-risk youth. We strive to promote personal, social, and financial responsibility. We build character through specific skills development. Statistics for our programs are readily available.
Surveys are completed by our volunteer staff, youth, and parents pre- and post-program. We utilize these comprehensive surveys to continuously improve and enhance our programming. For example, 72% of our youth say they make better decisions and have increased leadership skills. 80% of the youth who participate in our Summer Camp have gone on to our after-school programs. Lastly, 90% of our youth gain greater self-confidence and self-esteem. Our Mentoring Through Life Skills Program includes training in etiquette and dining, entrepreneurship, resume writing, and public speaking. Many of our youth go on to college and technical school and have gone on to pursue careers in math, coaching and theater.