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Investing In Youths And The Future

By Deborah Spencer-Chun, President and CEO, Adult Friends for Youth

Leadership and confidence can sometimes take time to instill in a young person. Our islands face the challenge of what to do with those who are in need of direction and discipline in order to help them become productive members of society.

In many such cases for nearly 30 years, Adult Friends for Youth (AFY) has implemented a successful approach to working with very high-risk youths called Redirectional Therapy (RT).


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Graduates of the 2013 AFY program received their diplomas April 3, 2014. ADULT FRIENDS FOR YOUTH PHOTOS

RT helps break the cycle of violence, despair and unhealthy lifestyles that are often passed down from generation to generation. It also combats violence, drugs, crime, teen pregnancy, family dysfunction, learning disabilities and anti-social behavior among very high-risk youths both in and out of school.

AFY’s philosophy is simple: Kids can change their ways, become productive citizens and contribute positively to society. We believe that investing in kids and youths today will help bring about a positive and rewarding future for them tomorrow and beyond.

Our proven method helps reduce and eliminate substance abuse, gang-related activities and family dysfunction in an effort to enhance the potential for all youths to achieve their goals and aspirations.

AFY’s work has penetrated and influenced generations of students who have been affected by the compassion and love we portray. Empowering stories of students in the program who have triumphed over adversity has been one of the motivating factors for our clients to turn their lives around, and go on to graduate from high school, university and eventually become exemplary members of society.

AFY employs 14 dedicated and caring staff who are often on-call 24/7 to provide clients with therapeutic prevention, intervention and mental health services. On average, we work with more than 400 students a week and over the decades have graduated thousands from the program.

AFY is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that successfully operates and provides services to clients through government and private grants, including donations from local businesses and caring individuals.

AFY’s major fundraiser of the year is our 28th annual Celebration of Youth Dinner Auction — it’s a great way for the public and businesses to positively impact the program through generous donations and contributions. The dinner is Friday, Nov. 28. For more information, email afy@afy-hawaii.com or call 833-8775.

Hawaii charitable organizations may send requests for space in either Proof Positive or the free advertisement below to dchapman@midweek.com.