One of the problems Orlando faces is a lack of experiential guidance for at-risk and urban youth. As a community with disparities in rates of juvenile crime, teen pregnancy, and high school graduation often the organizations that work with youth from challenging circumstances lack representatives with an experiential understanding of the challenges their clients face.
Life Beyond Adversity (“LBA”) is a non-profit organization that was established by professionals who have emerged from challenging circumstances to alter the vision, progress and experiences of urban youth. Its mission is to help urban youth facing socio-economic hardships further their education at institutions of higher learning and equip them with the ability to make better life decisions to affect their daily choices.
LBA’s most impactful initiative is its Shadowing Program. The program consists of five professional development workshops where youths are taught about financial literacy, how to navigate professional environments that they may be unfamiliar with, and how to craft an actionable life plan that takes into account the very real financial and social challenges that poverty has provided them with. These workshops are lead by professionals who have emerged from socioeconomic hardships and culminate with youth shadowing a professional of their choosing during a normal day at their workplace.
Children, ages 12-18, are matched with professionals from diverse fields such as law, medicine, sports, marketing, insurance, corrections, sales, in the hopes that they will better understand their potential and where their interests can take them.
The core pillar of LBA’s shadowing program is that through setting and reaching professional goals, disadvantaged youth will refrain from making choices and traveling paths that would be harmful to those goals. By introducing urban youth to professionals who emerged from similar circumstances, LBA is able to meet SDG #10 - Reduced Inequalities and SDG Goal #4 - Quality Education with the hope of improving the lives of underserved and underrepresented communities for generations.
For more information about LBA and how you can get involved please visit our website at Lifebeyondadversity.com.