June 16, 2017

This guest blog post was written by Erin Lovell, executive director of Legal Counsel for Youth and Children. 

Like thousands of youth and young adults in King County, Jessica* struggled with homelessness. Unlike many, however, Jessica also has a developmental disability, which put her in an even more vulnerable situation. Her relatives had been investigated several times for taking advantage of her. 

When we, the team at Legal Counsel for Youth and Children (LCYC), first met with Jessica, she not only lacked housing, she was unable to access her social security income and generally did not know what to do with herself day to day. 

An LCYC staff attorney began working with Jessica through our homeless youth pilot project, Legal Services Partnership for Youth (LSPY). Together, Jessica and the attorney advocated for housing and connected Jessica with professional payee services, so Jessica could access her social security funds. 

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June 13, 2017
Giving Compass
By Stephanie Fuerstner Gillis
Senior Advisor, Impact-Driven Philanthropy Initiative

America has a long-standing tradition of generosity. As a nation, we contribute nearly $400 billion each year to issues and causes. Though we often think of large foundations when we think about philanthropy, more than 70 percent of giving in this country is directed by individuals writing checks or giving online. 

Among individuals, most (85 percent) say they care about the impact of their gifts, but only 32 percent conduct research online, and only 9 percent  compare organizations. At the same time, our nation is anticipating the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in our history, and expects up to $60 trillion will be passed along to heirs and some $20 trillion will be given to nonprofits over the next 50 years. 

This generosity presents an enormous opportunity to make progress on pressing social issues and solve some of our greatest challenges, but if donors aren’t making informed, intentional investments, we will squander this chance. We see an exciting opportunity to direct more of these donations to make faster and deeper progress on issues and in communities. 

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May 23, 2017
Children working in a garden
By Juliet Taylor
Program Officer, Raikes Foundation

Last summer I was elated to find a Washington Post headline asking, “Are Summer Camps the Next Frontier in Helping Disadvantaged Students Catch up?”. Educators have long pointed to the ways in which additional learning opportunities before and after school, as well as during the summer, expand horizons for vulnerable students and create needed continuity in their development.

Fast forward a few months however, and the largest federal program supporting expanded learning opportunities (ELO) for kids from low-income communities is now on the chopping block.

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May 18, 2017
Mindset Scholars Network

FOSTERING a growth mindset in students

When Carol Dweck was working on her doctorate in social and developmental psychology at Yale University, she became intrigued with a fundamental question about education:  Why do some students give up in the face of failure, while others thrive?

“I was interested in how children coped with difficulty and setbacks,” Dweck recalled. “Some of the children as I expected folded and thought it was the end of the world. Others looked like I was giving them a gift. They said things like, ‘I love a challenge,’ ‘I was hoping this would be informative,’ or ‘mistakes are our friend.’  And I thought, where are these kids from, Mars? I’m failing them! And yet they were relishing it. And benefiting from it.

“Then and there,” Dweck said, “I swore that I would uncover their secret, bottle it and give it to the world.”

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