Spencer’s parents divorced when he was just nine, and things have been ugly between the two ever since. Both have always worked long hours leading a growing IT company, and today Spencer rarely sees either amid this continuing trend. He does ok at his Douglas County school – though not quite up to mom and dad’s standard – but his teachers can tell he is not thriving. School counselors help some with the depression and anxiety, but hours of video games each night most effectively carry Spencer through his persistent sense of isolation.
Though their circumstances and environments could not be more disparate, Jasmine and Spencer are both “at-risk.” For one, environmental influences threaten her development and capacity to thrive, while the other struggles alone against the weight of his own emotional turmoil. Consistent disconnection from committed, interested adults plagues the wonder, exploration, and growth that should characterize this stage in life.
Our journey as an organization began with low-income families, people invested in their neighborhoods and rich in relationships despite their limited finances. Over the past three decades, and alongside citywide gentrification, we have expanded our programming into suburban communities to continue serving the marginalized of our booming metropolis.
Most recently, at the invitation of concerned residents, we began connecting kids in the Parker area with adult mentors. As Spencer’s story illustrates, kids here also struggle at alarming rates and in significant ways. They, too, crave connection with older voices of wisdom, mentors who will affirm their aptitudes, challenge their growth, and join their stories. Would you consider filling this role and becoming a mentor for a child in your community?