The Colorado Gap
Colorado suffers from an unequal balance of trade in terms of its talent. While the Rocky Mountain state ranks near the top in the number of residents with a college degree, it comes in nearly last in number of students who complete college. Nearly half of its residents with college degrees are transplants from other states. For every 10 students that graduate high school in Colorado, just two will go on to finish college.
Did you know?
- 1 in 4 high school students in Colorado won’t graduate on time
- 15,000 high school students in Colorado drop out each year.
- 42 of undergraduates in Colorado won’t finish in 4-6 years.
- An average dropout will make $10k a year less than a high school graduate and $36k less each year than someone with a bachelor’s degree.
How can Jovial Futures help?
Our program, set to launch in 2014, is aimed at supporting the futures of 100 children in Colorado.
Jovial Futures is applying 50 years of research from the Search Institute for adolescent development via the creation of a powerful network of educational youth camps, experiential education programs, mentorships, internships, service learning, and career placement.
By removing financial barriers, providing youth with more opportunities, and creating community support systems, our program will help close the gap that keeps Colorado from growing its own professional talent!
The Key to Success is finding a “Spark”
The first step in Jovial Futures is finding a child’s “Sparks” – the interests and passions young people have that light a fire in their lives and express the essence of who they are and what they offer to the world.
Research results strongly suggest that having at least one spark, plus the support to develop it, is significantly and consistently related to having better outcomes, both in behavior and academics. Students with sparks tend to be, and to feel, healthier. They tend to be less depressed, less worried, and more satisfied overall. They place greater importance on being connected to school and making contributions to society, which are factors strongly related to school success indicators such as academic confidence and grades. Helping young people identify their sparks, and providing them the opportunity to develop those interests, appear to be important additions to academic educational methods and help students achieve school success.
“The internal animating force that propels development forward.”
The Jovial Futures Breakdown
The Jovial Futures initiative is a unique four step program that works with youth from age 12 until adulthood.
- The first step in our program is engaging the children and finding out their passion, level of emotional development, current experiences, support systems, community involvement, and the best opportunities within our network.
Jovial Concepts is working with teachers, social workers, education design professionals, parents, and the Search Institute staff to create the most accurate evaluation as possible.
- Next, the Jovial Concepts team narrows down the best extracurricular options for the child based on the evaluation. Having a large network of camps, sports, recreation, and creative art classes allow us not only to support their current sparks, but perhaps discover some new ones as well!
As the Search Institute points out, it is not only important to have sparks, but to have peers, parents, teachers, and the community actively supports and helping to develop these sparks!
- Many parents realize that extracurricular activities can be an extremely costly and timely endeavor. Parents have to budget for uniforms, equipment, transportation, program costs, as well as food and lodging.
Our research shows that parents, teachers, social service professionals, and students believe that the more opportunities and experiences a child has, the more successful they will be. If one student’s parents can afford better schools, more extracurricular programs, tutors, and other opportunities, then their child is clearly at an advantage over those who cannot.
If it were more affordable for the household, 43 out of 50 parents said they would enroll their students in more extracurricular activities.
By working with families and camp partners, Jovial Concepts has been able to create a sliding scale platform to ensure that money is not a reason for any child to miss out on an opportunity to explore their sparks!
If an extracurricular program does not have a scholarship, cannot provide ample discount, or a child cannot raise the funds from the community on their own, then Jovial Concepts will provide the difference.
Our volunteers have also agreed to help out with transportation, packing lunches, and securing any supplies that may be required for participation.
- Having an ongoing support and good role models is the next step to ensuring that youth in our community keeps finding new sparks and pursuing them!
Jovial Futures offers youth in our program the following ongoing support into adulthood:
- Service Learning Opportunities
- Career Placement
- Possible College Scholarships
Having the support of the community is highly beneficial to the development of a child’s identity and values. When we set good examples and invest in our youth, children are better able to gauge their importance as well as their role in society.
Program Impact and Tracking
After presenting the Jovial Futures program to many organizations and schools, we are confident this program will be a success. Our partners truly believe we have found a unique niche in supporting the work of parents and schools, through much needed extracurricular activities. College in Colorado has graciously offered to donate $100 per student in impact tracking and research. This partnership will allow Jovial Concepts to monitor a student’s attendance and academic performance from before and after Jovial Futures. We will also have students retake the Search Institutes’ DAP survey once per year in order to monitor improvement in the 40 assets.
Having basic knowledge of the student’s relationships, passions, attitude, involvement, and academic success allows our mentors and partners to pinpoint the needs of each child. Our goal for 2014 is to serve 100 Colorado youth! Jovial Futures discovers each student’s “spark” and gives them the relationships, support, and guidance to help them excel in high school, through college, and into a successful career.
Interested in becoming a partner?
We are currently creating a catalogue of camp partners to build youth excitement and readily show parents the best options for their children. Becoming a partner with Jovial Futures provides you with free advertising and increased enrollment! We also offer impact tracking for your program! Through our partnership with College in Colorado, we are able to track the impact of your camp on a student’s grades, attendance, and overall performance from before and after participation!
Q: How do I become a partner?
A: Simple! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with all the vital information for your camp. Include contact info, age groups, pricing, prerequisites, day or overnight, transportation, and food arrangements. Please include a brief description of activities in our catalogue. Please include your logo and one picture.
Q: What’s the catch?
A: Being a partner is free of charge! However, Jovial Concepts operates on a tight budget- any discounts on enrollment, multiple student discount, or scholarships for our participants will be greatly appreciated and are a great opportunity for write-offs! The more you help us out, the more features we will be able to support!