In early 2020, the world was thrust into a global crisis, presenting our generation with unprecedented challenges. As the New Life Movement mentors work closely with students across Richmond Schools, we witness the lasting effects of the pandemic - the unseen, the unmentioned, the long-term impacts. It's all too easy to forge ahead, attempting to forget the trials we endured. Yet, the trauma we faced during those uncertain times is ours to process and heal.
As adults grapple with incorporating mental health practices into their lives, it's equally crucial that we extend this knowledge to our children. The foundational years of education bore the brunt of the pandemic's upheaval. Students found themselves learning through laptop screens, socializing through devices, and missing out on crucial experiences that aid in the development of both social-emotional and academic skills.
Imagine an 8th grader returning to school, now facing the academic and social challenges of a 10th grader. Picture a 1st grader reintegrating into the educational system, expected to perform at the level of a 3rd grader. There is a significant gap in learning that these children have experienced between lesson plans and homework. This gap should not be underestimated.
It's imperative that we remain mindful of the unnoticed impacts of the pandemic and offer our children the support and encouragement they need to navigate this "new normal."
Students require tailored approaches such as Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), 504 plans, extra tutoring, and an emphasis on social-emotional learning. The New Life Movement's youth programs and mentorship initiatives are designed to help students bridge these gaps.
Our goal isn't merely to have students "catch up" to their expected grade levels. Instead, we strive to equip them with the necessary tools, skills, encouragement, and self-confidence required for success in this changed educational landscape.
In these challenging times, it's essential to invest in the holistic development of our youth, fostering resilience, empathy, and adaptability. By doing so, we are nurturing a generation of leaders who will rise above adversity, equipped to shape a better future for all.
At New Life Movement, we envision a world where every young person has the tools to build and sustain a healthy, meaningful life despite the systemic barriers imposed by poverty and intergenerational trauma. Our mission is to empower youth and young adults, cultivating knowledge and skills vital for healthy interpersonal, academic, and professional relationships.
The Journey of Transformation
The roots of New Life Movement trace back to a profound personal transformation experienced by our founder, Bendrick Foster. Having grown up in Richmond, California, Bendrick once found himself involved in a destructive lifestyle. However, a life-changing realization compelled him to turn his life around and dedicate himself to uplifting his community, starting with the very park he once frequented.
Rejuvenating John F. Kennedy Park
The journey began with Bendrick taking initiative to clean and revitalize John F. Kennedy Park, a place once marred by negative influences. Through consistent presence and intervention, he aimed to create a safe and welcoming environment, ensuring that children could walk to school without fear or exposure to harmful elements.
The Birth of New Life Movement
In 2015, New Life Movement collaborated with the City of Richmond to beautify the park. This partnership resulted in a mural symbolizing rebirth and the birth of the New Life Movement. Over the years, the movement expanded, establishing vital programs and resources to address the pressing needs of at-risk youth in Richmond.
Making a Difference through Programs
The Reactions Program focuses on promoting adaptive and positive behaviors, aiding youth in navigating conflicts in a healthy and empathetic manner. Mentors share essential skills, guiding participants away from potential volatile situations.
Our vocational training initiatives, including New Life Café and Designer of the Year, aim to break the cycle of poverty by providing practical skills and job opportunities, connecting youth to career learning and educational programs.
STEM Lab and Healthy Living
Our Side Hustlez STEM Lab encourages creative expression and provides education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Additionally, the Healthy Living program supplies healthy organic foods to underserved youth and families, sourced from homegrown community gardens.
The Urgent Need for Support
As New Life Movement continues to grow and engage more vulnerable youth, we are urgently seeking support to sustain and expand our programs. We have set a goal to secure a 1.5 million dollar annual budget, enabling us to increase program capacity by 86% and serve over 200 additional young individuals per week during the school year.
Join Us in Making a Difference
We invite you to join us in making a difference. Your support will empower us to transform the lives of at-risk youth, providing them with the tools and opportunities they need to build a brighter, more promising future. Together, we can create a world where every young person's potential is recognized and nurtured, overcoming barriers and achieving greatness.
Support New Life Movement in our mission to uplift and empower the youth, and let's shape a better tomorrow for our community. 🌟✨ #NewLifeMovement #EmpowerYouth #TransformLives
In the face of an unprecedented global challenge in early 2020, the world was forced to grapple with an unknown future. Over a year into the pandemic, we at New Life Movement have been tirelessly working to aid the youth in our community as they strive to recover from what was initially expected to be a brief, two-week stay-at-home order aimed at "flattening the curve."
The impact of the pandemic has been profound, particularly on vulnerable children and youth who have lost their sense of social normalcy and stability. Parents found themselves juggling work and childcare responsibilities, while family members were kept apart for extended periods to protect against COVID-19 transmission.
Amid widespread stay-at-home orders, families faced unforeseen challenges. Previously accessible resources and support offered by the public education system became elusive. Parents, especially those from lower-income backgrounds, had to swiftly adapt to new ways of interacting with essential societal structures that are crucial for maintaining a healthy social safety net.
Throughout the pandemic, New Life Movement stepped up to provide children in our community with the necessary tools for virtual learning - computers and internet hotspots, alongside individualized support within our means. As society cautiously began to open up following the initial lockdowns, we promptly made our Resource Center in Downtown Richmond available. This space became a haven where children could receive both academic and personal support to help them catch up after months of isolation.
At New Life Movement, it is our unwavering commitment to ensure that the youth in our community know they have not been forgotten or left behind during these challenging times. While we may not possess all the answers, we wholeheartedly pledge to do whatever we can to guarantee the safety and well-being of the most vulnerable children and families in West Contra Costa County.
Stay tuned to our updates to learn more about the incredible work we're doing to support our community and help pave a brighter future for the youth in these trying times. 🌟