“Our children are God’s promise for a better tomorrow.”
But that promise is not easily kept. Many times our children need our help. Childhood and adolescence can include emotional or mental illness, self-destructive behavior or victimization. These difficulties have challenged society throughout history. This story began a long time ago.
In the early 1800’s, we began calling it “juvenile delinquency” and dealt with it through incarceration and punishment. Early 20th Century psychoanalysis led to better rehabilitation outcomes, but with modernization, the problem grew to critical levels. Youth violence, victimization, and incarceration reached historic highs in the 1990’s.
Therapeutic outcomes have improved, but the same old story persists. As evidenced in current headlines, the tragedy continues to escalate.
Today, human trafficking and drug addiction is destroying unprecedented numbers of young lives. The complexities of the modern, hyper-connected world have added bullying and endless peer pressure to the causes of youth alienation, crime and suicide.
But the cause is far from hopeless. Research has led us to new responses and treatments. We know that innovative, immersive rehabilitation therapies and inspirational education programs can bring life-altering change to at-risk youth.
Youth Opportunity Foundation is dedicated to saving these victimized, disenfranchised young people.
Do we, the American people, understand the consequences of doing nothing?