Of the 22,000 youth in Oregon whom have at least one parent incarcerated. Children who have a parent in prison experience multiple challenges including loss and grief, trauma and diminished income, especially if the incarcerated parent was the primary “bread-winner,” lower graduation rates, lower test scores on standardized tests and a decreased ability or likelihood to pursue a college degree, and higher incarceration rates, resulting in poverty and diminished physical health.
Of the 4.2 million people in Oregon, they identify as: African-American (2%); Hispanic/Latino (12%); Caucasian (76%). The racial/ethnic mix of our participants identify as follows: African-American (20%); Hispanic/Latino (10%); Caucasian (70%). 90% are LMI.
Youth of color are at higher risk of overrepresentation in the system: Minority youth experience disproportionate contact with the juvenile justice system, and a combination of socioeconomic factors and various state and federal policies as well as disparate service delivery increase the likelihood that these children will enter the foster care system.
For children who experience language and/or cultural barriers, isolation is intense requiring equally intensive outreach, and engagement that honor tradition and diverse values. Culturally specific community- and faith-based organizations equipped to form essential relationships that are relevant to their diverse and unique needs must be incorporated into all that we do with our Agape Youth.
These youth face a great number of challenges, including a very low likelihood of ever obtaining a college degree, and a youth without a degree is virtually guaranteed a life of low earning and poor health, and is at high risk for incarceration. This is why we are here — to increase the likelihood of these youth succeeding!
We served over 450 youth in our Agape Youth Programs. Thank you to everyone who made this possible.