Packed with games, supplies, lesson plans, and interactive homework, the It's My Business course provides sixth graders with real-world-focused instruction, integrating social studies, reading, writing, and critical thinking. Lessons—which are designed to help students meet Georgia Performance Standards—cover subjects such as advertising, apprenticeship, marketing, and civic responsibility. Students engage in six activities designed to enhance career confidence and explore pathways of employment. The course begins with an introduction to the concepts of entrepreneurship and ends with the development of a business plan.
In 1860, three women in Hartford Connecticut believed that the boys they saw lollygagging in the streets should have something better to do with their time. So they made sure they did. They started a club that gave the boys constructive, community-based activities that helped forge their characters. In the 150 years since, this idea has spread from a community cause to a national sensation, with that first club inspiring more than 1,140 independent organizations to form since. Today, Boys & Girls Clubs of America reach more than 4,000 communities, giving children—including the child versions of spokespeople Denzel Washington and Jennifer Lopez—positive outlets for their spare time.
The Clubs' programs touch on everything from volunteer-service days to bake sales and zoo field trips. Yet no matter what the specific activity, participating students gain a connection with and respect for their community, enhancing their communication skills and self-esteem. The organization also focuses on specific goals through tailored programs, helping build leadership skills, artistic talents, or the knowledge necessary to compete in the job market.
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Erica McDonald became a teenage mother while still in high school at the age of 16. She worked hard to graduate and gain her bachelor's degree in teaching and has since striven to help other young people accomplish similar goals. As part of this aim, she founded Treasurechest Learning Systems, which combines a specially designed curriculum of seminars for teens and presentations for parents to help teens return to school after childbirth and achieve future success and self-sufficiency.
The organization's program works with teenagers to determine what they need to accomplish to graduate, and creates plans of action for attending postsecondary school or finding places in the workforce. Participants are required to complete at least three applications for postsecondary education or jobs. Should students decide to pursue a resultant opportunity, Treasurechest Learning Systems can identify useful social services and provide transportation for a limited time, application fees, uniforms, and shoes to achieve this goal.
The Phillip Rush Center has become the literal embodiment of its name. Having evolved beyond a mere building, the space has become the central gathering place for the Atlanta area LGBT community. This massive venue is not only a home to 10 LGBT non-profits, but also a space used by dozens of allied groups including Just Us, SAGE, and Transgender Individuals Living Their Truth. These organizations host everything from yoga and movie screenings to advocacy campaigns and training sessions for social service agencies, weaving a supportive net of assistance and social opportunity for the LGBT community. The Center goes above and beyond, too, providing referrals for housing, conducting youth empowerment workshops, and running HIV testing—anything community members need to improve their lives.
Lacking essential food and hygiene items can make it more difficult for young people to achieve the successes that can help them emerge from homelessness, such as passing the GED or interviewing for a job. StandUp For Kids provides basic survival packs filled with two weeks' worth of easily transportable food and hygiene products. Each survival pack is designed to improve everyday life with small food items—such as juice, a granola bar, raisins, and canned spaghetti—and basic hygiene products—including deodorant, shampoo, sunscreen, a toothbrush, socks, underwear, and washcloths.
In its campaign to establish a healthy canopy covering, Trees Atlanta plants new trees, nurtures and preserves existing ones, and educates the public about the importance of these leafy lookouts through regular tree-care projects. With G-Team support, Trees Atlanta will plant 6- to 10-foot-tall native shade trees—including maples, cedars, magnolias, and dogwoods—in communities with the least amount of verdure, providing two years of watering, pruning, mulching, and general care to keep each arboreal investment healthy and vibrant. Having planted and distributed more than 75,000 shade trees since its inception, Trees Atlanta sustains a healthy environment, establishes stunning, shaded neighborhoods, and promotes positive dialogue among volunteers and city communities through tangible change.