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Free Teens Mission Statement
This Free Teens Leadership Training AmeriCorps*VISTA project is designed to strengthen community support for teen abstinence as a means to empower youth to reach higher levels of education and to achieve their future goals including the goals of many to have lasting love relationships that will lead to greater formation of healthy marriages and increased numbers of children raised by committed, married parents.
Decades of research have shown that, even in distressed, lower income communities, children raised by committed, married parents benefit from increased economic resources and demonstrate greater achievement in school, emotional and physical health and lower rates of incarceration or involvement with juvenile delinquency. Low marriage rates in the many urban communities have led to decreased hope in the possibility of marriage and less awareness of the importance of delaying sexual involvement, ideally until marriage, or at least until one has reached self-sufficiency and ready to establish a committed, monogamous relationship. Free Teens Leadership Training is designed to raise awareness and community support for the abstinence lifestyle and for the importance of creating healthy male-female relationships that will lead to healthy marriages, better parenting and more committed fathers. The selected communities, which include Jersey City, Paterson, and Elizabeth, NJ, have significant needs.
You will be trained in the areas of Parent/Community Outreach and in grantwriting. Your involvement in Community Outreach will allow Free Teens USA to interact with more community and civic organizations and to develop new strategies and educational materials for parents and community organizations, broadening the impact of the Free Teens Leadership Training message, and creating partnerships that will allow this program to be integrated more widely in the selected communities. In addition, VISTA members will assist with outreach to college students to recruit volunteers to mentor high school students in selected schools.
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