As you know, in 2004 Santa Barbara County community leaders came together in a unique collaboration seeking to improve the outcomes of foster youth. The result of this effort was The Children’s Project Foundation, formed with the goal of creating a residential charter school community for foster teens. As a board, we have worked very hard these past eight years and are proud to have created a unique and innovative model.
Unfortunately, like most nonprofits, we have struggled with the downturn in the economy and have had increasing difficulty raising the capital required to build our school campus. We have operated this year with no paid staff and minimal operating expenses, focusing all our efforts on trying to find creative ways to make our school a reality. We have worked closely with our local foundations, researched public funding sources, pursued individual “angels,” consulted with philanthropic leaders, and even actively pursued potential merger opportunities.
In spite of these efforts, the financial hurdles have proved too challenging to overcome, and it is with heavy hearts that we have initiated steps to sell our Los Alamos property that was to be the site of our Academy. While disappointed that we will not have a campus in Santa Barbara County, we remain passionate about the concept of integrating education with residential care for foster youth.
While we assess the future of The Children’s Project Foundation, we are reassured that our vision continues in other communities. We have enthusiastically shared our charter petition, detailed business plan, and trademarked program Foster for America (an innovative idea to use higher education as a recruiting tool for foster parents). We are proud that we have inspired and informed ongoing efforts in other counties and look forward to following their progress.
As individuals, many of us are involved with other nonprofit organizations and groups working hard to make a difference in foster care. We will continue to help ensure that these problems aren’t ignored and that our community’s foster youth – our children – receive the guidance and support they need to become happy, healthy contributing members of our community.
We thank you for your interest and support.
The Children’s Project Academy Board of Directors