Advanced Education Program gives youth unprecedented chance at futures

By May 31, 2010

Dominican Republic (MNN) — In the Dominican Republic and around the world, Kids Alive International helps out kids in desperate situation, taking them in from abusive homes, off the streets or from extreme poverty.

But what happens to these kids after they complete high school and enter adulthood?

John Breul of Kids Alive said they are helping kids transition and become productive members of society, "Our goal for Kids Alive is that we rescue the children, but then we enable them to become agents of positive change for the kingdom of God in their communities."

How are they doing this? Through the Advanced Education Initiative. Breul said, "What we've done in the Dominican Republic is created an opportunity for them to continue their education beyond high school, either in university or in advanced vocational training."

For the last couple years, Kids Alive has conducted this program for alumni of their kids program. Currently they have 20 individuals enrolled, 18 in the university and two in advanced vocational training. Students are studying to be doctors, dentist, engineers, businessmen and women and missionaries.

Less than two percent of Dominicans ever have the chance to receive post-high school education, and those who do are at the upper financial end of society. Virtually no one from their socioeconomic status attends college, Breul said. So, this opportunity gives these students a chance at a future they would never receive otherwise.

But the positive impact does not just end with these kids. Kids Alive is empowering them to impact their communities after they graduate, just as Kids Alive impacted them: "One of the things we try to instill in them is this concept of being blessed to be then a blessing in return," Breul said. Part of this blessing is sharing the hope of Christ.

The project is funded by foundations and individuals concerned about the welfare of these kids. Breul said they are always in need of donors, and the amazing thing about giving is donors have a chance to mentor and impact youth they may never meet. As they do so, they are equipping tomorrow's leaders to be the change needed in the world.

Interested in becoming a donor? Visit Kids Alive's website. Or you can email Breul directly at [email protected].

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