The SOAR Program is a voluntary personal growth program our kids can apply for if they so choose. Those who complete the program earn a trip to Disney, and the top SOAR participant receives $1000 to put towards their future! Each child works one on one with a staff member who meets with them weekly to help them set and accomplish their goals.
This part of the program teaches the kids about generosity and the joy of serving others.
Each participant applies to research a topic that interests them and volunteers with a local organization that addresses that issue. We have children researching things like homelessness in Oakland County and obstacles faced by adults with mental disabilities.
They’re able to volunteer with the Michigan Humane Society, Leader Dogs for the Blind, American Red Cross, and other organizations depending on their interests.
At the end of the program, they share what they learned and how they served in a presentation to staff and the SOAR panel.
Children are taught the importance of personal responsibility, reframing, and optimism. They are guided through shedding a victim mentality and into understanding the power they have over their lives through making good choices.
After reading or listening to 6 books from a curated list about other people who have overcome immense obstacles in their lives, they write a summary for each.
They also work with their staff sponsor to identify 3 personal barriers in their lives and problem solve how to overcome them. Each child has a goal of trying 1 new thing a month for 4 months in a row.
The goal is to awaken each child to their inner power and autonomy in shaping their future.
Foster care stunts academic growth across the board. It’s difficult for children who are focused entirely on survival and the chaos in their lives to pay attention in school; 80% of our boys are operating 3-4 grade levels below their non-foster care peers.
We are dedicated to helping them catch up, value their education, and succeed.
Each child works with their sponsor to identify the 3 areas they’re best in, 3 areas they need to catch up in, and their greatest struggles academically.
Then they work with their sponsor and the Academic Support Coordinator to create an academic plan to achieve personal bests and reach honor roll.
We teach each child to take responsibility for the choices they make, as well as how to respect themselves and others.
They are given the opportunity to earn a weekly allowance and learn responsible money management.
Once they collect $75, they can open a bank account with their sponsor’s help. They also keep a gratitude journal, listing 500 things they’re grateful for.
To assess their progress, they meet with the “gratitude and attitude panel” to identify things they’re doing well and areas for improvement.