Friends of the Children offers long-term mentorship for at-risk youth

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Nationally, only one in 10 low-income youths graduate college according to the national mentorship program Friends of the Children. Now, a new branch of the program in starting up in Chicago and is hoping to change that course for many kids.

Friends of the Children aims to prepare the city's most vulnerable kids for long-term success.

Executive Director of the Chicago division Taal Hasak-Lowy and Program Director Seth El-Jamal joined ABC 7 Chicago in the studio to tell us more.

Chicago's early-prevention group, along with new studies, confirm the earlier at-risk youth receive needed attention, their graduation and employment odds increase.

Friends of the Children - Chicago, works directly with Chicago's most vulnerable youth to ensure each child gets the education and interpersonal attention needed for long-term success.

The program pairs youth one-on-one with a professional, full-time salaried "Friend" with a commitment of mentorship from kindergarten through high school.

Over the summer, Friends of the Children - Chicago started the long-term intervention with 30 new first-graders in Chicago's most vulnerable neighborhoods.

Friends of the Children also serves 25 Chicago second-graders and plans to recruit another 30 first-graders next year.

Nationally, Friends of the Children reaches thousands of children in over 250 schools in communities and said they have successful models in 18 locations.
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