Friends of the Children is an organization that the Cambia Health Foundation has supported for many years.
According to the Academic Pediatric Association, one in five children lives in a family with income below the federal poverty level. Additional factors, such as social determinants of health and adverse childhood experiences contribute to the cycle of poverty. The difficulty is in knowing how to change the story so that children can claim a brighter, more hopeful future.
Friends identifies children who come from a high-risk environment, pairs them with a mentor who works with them for 12.5 years—from kindergarten through high school. The results of the program speak for themselves:
- 83 percent of youth graduate from high school
- 93 percent avoid the juvenile justice system
- 98 percent avoid early parenting