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Austin Sunshine Camps
Our mission is: “To create a better future and stronger community through mentoring, education, and personal development of our low-income youth”
Our Visions is: “Transforming possibilities for our community’s most vulnerable youth – for another 100 years”
Established in 1928 by the Young Men’s Business League of Austin (YMBL), the Austin Sunshine Camps (ASC) provides enrichment opportunities for low-income boys and girls of Central Texas for over eighty years. ASC staff and YMBL members work with the children during their signature summer camp programs and year-round academic programs to help develop the tools necessary to overcome the variety of difficulties they face in their day-to-day lives. The children are assailed on all fronts from challenges of poverty and family disintegration to the threats of drug abuse and violence. ASC’s ultimate goals are to prepare today’s high-potential, low-income Central Texas students for the challenges of tomorrow and help reduce the high school dropout. ASC accomplishes this through the cultivation of academically strong and socially conscious young men and women by fostering life skills and promoting educational success. Since it’s inception, the Austin Sunshine Camps have served more than 46,000 children.
The Young Men’s Business League’s major philanthropic endeavor in time and money is the Austin Sunshine Camps. In support of the ASC staff, YMBL members volunteer countless hours mentoring and tutoring kids in yearlong ASC programs, participating in weekly summer camp activities and maintaining ASC facilities. Additionally, the YMBL supports the ASC by conducting an annual fundraising campaign and hosting signature events that benefit the ASC such as the Austin Under 40 Awards and the Schlotzsky’s Bun Run.
- 88% direct benefit ratio
- Cost per summer camper: $370; Cost per participant in the Sunrise Leadership and Challenge programs: $2,500
- 71% of youth served come from households with annual incomes less than $22,050 (Federal Poverty Level); 37% are just above the poverty level
- 44 percent of children participating are from families enrolled in the state’s Food Stamp Program
- A near-equal number of boys and girls enjoy Austin YMBL Sunshine Camps’ programs each year,
- 38% are African American, and 46% are of Latino/Hispanic ethnicity
- 67% of the children in our programs are from single parent homes or in foster care.
- ASC has served more than 46,000 disadvantaged youth since we were founded in 1928
- Our summer camp is the only camp in Central Texas that offers services FREE of charge to participants
- Each year, just under 1,000 Central Texas youth are served in all our programs
- Since 2001, all Leadership participants (in our year-around program) have earned a high school diploma
- Our Leadership and Challenge students participate in more than 1,000 hours of community service each school year
- Math grades have increased from 75 to 81
- More than ½ of our leadership students are enrolled in AP classes
- Presently, there are 8 Sunrise Leadership graduates in college on scholarships from the YMBL Foundation
YEAR AROUND EDUCATIONAL AND LIFE SKILLS PROGRAMS
Sunrise Leadership Program
- In 2011, the program is serving over 45 high school low-income students with the primary goal of reducing the high school dropout rate.
- The four-year program consists of workshops and course-based tutorials as well as general mentoring. Participants meet weekly during the academic school year.
- Within each weekly session students are tutored in core subjects such as math, science, English and history. They also work on learning and developing study skills, test-taking strategies, and short- and long-term goal setting including preparing for college (SAT, college visits, FASFA, Essays, etc.) and career planning.
- There are also full weekend retreats, boy’s nights and girl’s nights, community service opportunities along with cultural activities that also happen during the month.
- Austin YMBL Sunshine Camp staff serves as the students advocate inside and outside of the classroom and work with teachers, counselors, parents as well as social workers. We do what we can to assist our students in becoming successful.
Sunrise Challenge Program
- The program is for 30-40 middle school students to prepare them for the strenuous academics that are required in high school by meeting once a month during the academic year. One month is community service and the alternate month is a full weekend retreat.
- The retreats focus on education projects that allow the participants to experience education in a hands on learning environment as well as issues that the students are facing in their environment and are given tools to assist the students maneuvering the difficult years of middle school.
- For the academic year 2011-2012 the focus is on physics. We have a physics teacher from St. Stephens who is working with the staff and students on projects to make them lots of fun and nice and messy!
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