February 24, 2017
Unlike other days, Mario can’t wait to get home to show his mother the flyer he received at school about joining Boy Scouts. He and several classmates received the same flyer and hope they can be part of this afterschool activity. Mario and his friends are among the youth in the region who are disconnected or not involved in out of school activities.
The Paso del Norte Health Foundation’s IGNITE Initiative has partnered with Boy Scouts of America - Yucca Council (Boy Scouts) since 2014 to connect scouting to communities where there are disconnected youth through their Unidos Prosperamos program. Click here to view the great things taking place through the Unidos Prosperamos program.
The goal of IGNITE is to improve a range of health outcomes by engaging disconnected youth in the Paso del Norte region in high quality programs during out of school hours. The Health Foundation refers to “disconnected youth” as people between the ages of 7-18 who are not involved in out of school activities or participating in the labor market. Evidence indicates that youth who are involved in out of school programs are less likely to use drugs, alcohol, or be involved in criminal activity. Well-designed youth activities increase protective factors needed for youth to lead healthy and productive lives.
“We have been successful in starting and maintaining troops in many underserved communities,” said Mario Perez, Scout Executive and CEO. “Our goal is to engage youth in scouting as well as prepare them to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetime.” The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations, providing programs for young people that build character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship and develops personal fitness.
The Unidos Prosperamos program is reaching out to disconnected youth in the communities of Clint, Fabens, Horizon, Montana Vista, San Elizario, Sparks, Socorro and Tornillo in Texas, and Santa Teresa and Sunland Park in New Mexico. It is estimated that more than 400 youth, some of which are disconnected, are being served per year through the program.
Recently, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation was recognized by the Boys Scouts of America – Yucca Council for their outstanding service and dedication to the Hispanic/Latino American youth and communities with the national ¡Scouting…Vale La Pena! Service Award. The selection process was based on nominees, with the final individual or organization determined by the regional council.
“We are very honored to be recognized for this award and appreciate the work the Boy Scouts is doing in the region,” states Tracy J. Yellen, Chief Executive Officer, Paso del Norte Health Foundation. “The success of the program that increases growth in scouting and reduces disconnected youth is a win-win for everyone.”
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