The Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware work to inspire children to become responsible, productive and caring citizens. No child is ever written off.
“A lot of the time we get kids sentenced to community service and then they never leave because they feel the love, they feel the family,” says Kate Baker Frawley, director of marketing and event development.
Thanks to a dedicated staff, that atmosphere permeates every one of the organization’s 44 locations.
“They do it, not necessarily for the paycheck, but they do it for the kids,” she says.
Kids like 18-year-old Daizy Fuentes, Delaware’s 2011 Youth of the Year. Fuentes has been going to the Newark club since 2003 and has always drawn on its support. That became especially important three years ago when she lost her mother and younger sister within days of each other. Instead of succumbing to grief, she stayed in school, played three sports and remained at the top of her class at Glasgow High. She plans to study chemical engineering at the University of Delaware.
“She knows it hasn’t been easy, but with the support of the club and people who love her, she knows she can do great things,” Baker Frawley says.
Page 2: The Ronald McDonald House of Delaware
Imagine having a child in the hospital and having to travel to an unfamiliar city with nowhere to stay and no idea where to eat or even do laundry.
The Ronald McDonald House of Delaware offers families a place to turn. In addition to the House in Rockland, which can accommodate up to 50 families, the organization operates three Family Rooms at Bayhealth Medical Center, Christiana Care and Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, offering respite from a bedside vigil.
But the house is more than a “home away from home.” It is a community. “Parents find other parents in a similar situation and they gain support,” says executive director Pamela Cornforth.
Kids receiving outpatient treatment also benefit. “It adds normality to their life,” she says. “They come back here and look for the buddy down the hall to watch a movie with.”
Last year, 2,789 families utilized the house.
“Most of our stories have very positive outcomes, but unfortunately we do have children who pass away,” says Cornforth. “We feel we’ve helped families through some really trying times—to reach the hope of tomorrow from the challenges of today.”
Page 3: Nemours
Nemours is proud to be a first-time beneficiary. “For us it means our community engagement is working,” says executive director Dr. Kevin Churchwell.
Established in 1936 by philanthropist Alfred I. duPont, Nemours is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of children. In addition to the renowned children’s hospital, the foundation supports outpatient clinics in four states as well as primary care services in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Its research centers bring cutting-edge treatments to the bedside.
Just as important are the activities of Nemours Health and Prevention Services which partners with the community to help kids develop healthy habits. “We know that prevention is really the cure, the long-term cure,” says Churchwell.
Nemours is also a leader in health education. Its Center for Children’s Health Media produces the popular Web site kidshealth.org and other resources that bring knowledge and advice to millions of families every year.
“It’s a lot of work. It’s done by great individuals who are really dedicated to the proposition that every child deserves the best healthcare we can possibly provide,” says Churchwell.
Page 4: Grant Recipients
Delaware Guidance Services for Children & Youth Inc.
Delaware Guidance Services for Children & Youth Inc. hopes its grant will give it a higher profile in the community. “We’re not an organization that’s as well-known as others, so this is very helpful for people to be aware of what we do,” says executive director Bruce Kelsey.
Founded in 1952, DGS is the state’s largest nonprofit provider of mental health services for children. It serves about 10,000 children and their families each year, regardless of their ability to pay.
“The whole idea is to look at the child and the child’s problems in the context of their family, the family in the context of the community and their cultural heritage, so you’re really looking at the system that surrounds the child,” Kelsey says.
DGS maintains clinics in Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Lewes and Seaford, providing a variety of services for every need. These include outpatient services, school-based counseling and crisis services.
Despite the magnitude of the problem, DGS realizes a success rate of almost 90 percent. “Children are really resilient,” says Kelsey. “With ‘the right help at the right time’—which is our motto—they are really able to make changes and get on with being successful adults.”
Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation
You wouldn’t expect to find kids studying oceans and dinosaurs at an aerospace academy, but then the Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation is no ordinary space camp. Indeed, since 1989, the DASEF has been inspiring young minds to explore space, the Earth and their own place in the universe.
“We’re called the Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation, but if you look at the big picture, you’re looking back at the Earth most of the time and the Earth systems and how we all impact one another,” says president and CEO Dr. Stephanie M.G. Wright, a former music educator and candidate for the Teacher in Space Program in 1985.
The academy offers five full-day and three overnight programs called “Destinations,” which provide hands-on experience in aerospace activities, as well as instruction in science, technology, engineering and math. Just as important, students learn to think, innovate, solve and work together as they explore the interrelationship between earth and space.
Wright is looking forward to the completion of DASEF’s new home, the $7.3 million Innovation Technology Exploration Center on its 40-acre Smyrna campus. “The exterior is done. We’ve come a long way in 22 years,” she says. “This organization is a joy—I can’t tell you—wisdom begins with wonder.”