America is the richest of all nations. Yet there are millions of children and families who most likely will not share in the educational, economic and social opportunities all should enjoy. They are not connected to the networks and opportunities that are critical for improving life choices.
The Eckerd Family Foundation's mission provides leadership and support for innovative educational, preventative, therapeutic and rehabilitative programs for children, youth and their families.
Their focus is on vulnerable youth. Although there are as many definitions of vulnerable youth as there are organizations serving them, we prefer a very simple definition. Vulnerable youth face a questionable and uncertain future because they are ill prepared or incapable in their present circumstances of reaching their full potential.
The foundation seeks to support educational and nontraditional opportunities for youth and families. Currently such support is in the following areas: The foundation explores educational opportunities for youth and families through its Scholarship Initiative so that through a combination of guidance and self-determination, grantees are given the ability to enable their participants to take advantage of the full spectrum of possibilities that spring from education. Regular contact with grantees affords the foundation the nimble flexibility needed to adjust to changing needs. The definition of “education” shall be flexible and currently includes:
- Out-of-school activities
- Vocational education
- Alternative education/dropout prevention