MENTORING CHILDREN OF INCARCERATED PARENTS
Statistics show that the odds of children whose parents are incarcerated greatly increase as they are left without guidance and to discern right from wrong. As they get older, they fall into the justice system through unruly behavior. Furthermore, many become depressed with low self-esteem and look for unhealthy ways to be accepted.
According to an article by Mr. Henrie M. Treadwell of The Times of Trenton, he wrote: “Studies suggest that girls with an incarcerated household member have sex at younger ages, are less likely to use contraceptives, have more sexual partners and are more likely to become pregnant before the age of 20. Other researchers report that high levels of incarceration affect the ability of African-American male adolescents to imagine their future, due to the absence of so many men as role models in their homes and neighborhood. Overall, research indicates that 23 percent of children with a father who have served time in jail or prison have been expelled or suspended from school. Parental incarceration is correlated with higher school dropout rates, lower academic achievement, greater involvement with juvenile justice and ultimately more involvement with the criminal justice system as offenders themselves.”
Mr. Treadwell further states, “Currently, in the United States, one in 134 adults is in jail or prison. Among African-American adults, the number is nearly one in 20.” He further states, “In 2007, approximately 1.7 million African-American children, or one in 15, had a parent, in prison on any given day. Data for jails, probation, and parole are not available.”
We, at Second Chance Quest, believe that as a society, we owe it to the decency within each of us that once a trusted study points to the cause of the ills of our society, we do everything in our collective power to remedy that ailment. For surely, this is an ailment that affects our entire nation. For we all foot the bill in paying higher taxes.
It is in this regard, along with many troubling statistics, that have led to the formation of this specialized branch of Second Chance Quest, which is dedicated to mentoring children of incarcerated parents.
Mentoring at-risk children, mainly, those who are found to have one or both parents in prison. Second Chance Quest will continue to play a pivotal role in these children’s lives until adulthood in an ongoing effort to reduce the cycle of incarceration.
The Creating BOSSES Program will kick off as a summer program for children with an incarcerated parent. The program will mentor these youth as well as teach them entrepreneurship to help shape their success. We are raising funds so that we can implement the entrepreneur curriculum from NFTE (Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship).
According to NFTE, “Teaching entrepreneurship changes mindsets, changes lives, changes the world.” They go on to say “We must equip young people with an innovator’s eye and a founder’s grit–the skills to excel in an innovation economy. And with economists predicting the jobs of tomorrow don’t even exist today, entrepreneurial skills are skills for life.”
Every child we turn away from the slippery slope of crime benefits each and every one of us and make our nation so much safer for our children. Do join us in this concerted effort.