Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Molina Center - sustainability education and internships for at-risk youth

What would happen if we had an army of young people with the courage, critical thinking, training and sheer inspiration to solve our most pressing global issues?

We would change the world!
The Molina Center is building a place which equalizes opportunity for young people, breaking at-risk youth out of chronic poverty, homelessness and unemployment and tuning them into the reality that solving global challenges locally has a neat side-effect: employment, education and a brighter future for all.
We will engage at-risk youth with paid internships in sustainability - a long-term transitional residential program running every aspect of our social enterprise businesses. Working as a team in an entrepreneurial environment where everyone is encouraged and supported to consider their reach and capacity to make a lasting difference. Within a real eco-village community that gives full support for our interns to run every aspect of our business and community life.
Yes, real paid internships for at-risk youth.
With all the wholistic structure and support needed to ensure lasting success.
If you are an intern coming to live and work at The Molina Center:
  • we will meet you where you are - now, and move with you to the future you want
  • we will create mentoring partnerships with key experts in the local community
  • we will recognize that you are a complex being, and work with you to address the root causes of emotional distress and under-achievement
  • you are a valued member of our team, and have great insight and energy to give
  • we will ensure that you are secure financially, comfortably housed, eat good food and are part of a dynamic and inspirational community

What We Have Now:

  • the land: 42 beautiful acres in western Colorado held free and clear by our 501(c)(3) non-profit
  • the facility: two main buildings (one brand new!), plus a number of smaller ones, all the infrastructure in place
  • the people: a well-credentialed board hailing from around the USA, an Executive Director from Australia, a qualified chef to make that good food, community and industry partners and a diverse network of volunteers and supporters
  • the programs: two thoroughly researched and innovative programs - Food Foresters (Permaculture and Urban Gardening) and Natural Builders (sustainable building pre-vocational program)
  • the youth: we already have enough potential interns to book us out several times over

We Need Your Help With:

  • operational funding: startup money to pay our new staff, interns, insurance, materials (once we are established we should be self-sustaining)
  • credibility: we have already spoken to a number of grant-making foundations - the common thread has been "show us that you have broad, grassroots support and get back to us" - they are enthusiastic and keen to help, but no-one wants to be the first in to support a new approach
Hence this crowdfunding campaign. After several years of planning, hundreds of  thousands of dollars worth of private financial and in-kind donations and support, we are coming out of "stealth mode" and asking for your - the general public's - support.
As soon as we reach $30,000 on this campaign, we can start our programs.
However - we need to raise $300,000 to be sure that we can continue operations in the long term - we will be working intensely to push our campaign to this goal!  Raising up to or beyond $300,000 will ensure that we have enough to fund operations well into 2015 and convince grant-making foundations that we are a safe investment, so that we can continue to inspire many more at-risk youth into the future.
If you can't afford a donation, then share this with your friends. Even just talking about us - saying "check out The Molina Center, they are doing cool stuff" to everyone you know - will make a real difference to our collective future. Check out our Referral Prizes shown at the end of this page to see how we will thank you for your support.

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