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When Felecia Gaston founded Performing Stars of Marin in 1990, a nonprofit art academy serving the underprivileged, she began with no budget whatsoever. “I had no idea about fundraising, writing grants, doing all the networking, filling out the 501(c)(3)s,” Gaston says.

Fast-forward 30 years, and today more than 3,000 young people have attended the program--and many have gone on to achieve at a level they never thought possible. By making classes, scholarships and other assistance accessible to families unable to afford performing arts programs, Gaston opened up a new world to kids who otherwise may have never had the chance to participate in the arts.

One excellent example is John...

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Most of us would be hard-pressed to remember what we were doing when we were four years old. Not Mikaila Ulmer: she was starting her own small business. After an unlikely inspiration--being stung by a bee--Mikaila had come to realize the vital role that bees play in the ecosystem. And almost eleven years later, her business, Me & The Bees Lemonade, has grown into a huge success.

Selling flaxseed lemonade sweetened with local honey (her grandmother's recipe), Mikaila donates a percentage of her profits to organizations fighting to save honeybees. And after introducing her lemonade on “Shark Tank”, Mikaila was able to secure a $60,000 investment to continue to grow her enterprise. T...

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When it comes to public policy, there are some issues that tend to be portrayed as permanent, systemic, just "part of the landscape". Poverty often seems to be one of these, sadly. But this of course is an illusion: like all social conditions, poverty is the result of specific choices made by governments, businesses and other powerful institutions.

There may be no better illustration of this point than the story being told in Canada right now. In 2016, the Canadian government began giving parents a small amount of money — a few hundred dollars a month — to help subsidize the costs of child raising. The amounts are very modest, but the results have been enormous: in just one year, ...

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In today's America, it can often seem like our biggest problems have become part of our way of life, and that they are simply here to stay. The woes of the American family top this list: for years divorce rates have climbed, and the family institution has at times appeared to be critically, and chronically, endangered.

But there's good news on the horizon. According to the most recent figures, the American family is on the rebound. And this is especially good news for our most valuable resource--our children.

As outlined in the recent article in USA Today, the past decade has shown promising signs of a resurgence in childbearing, along with a marked decline in divorce rates and an increase in ...

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An eighth grader from Minneapolis, MN, Sanya Pirani has a slightly different take on Christmas than most kids her age. Pirani created the non-profit Sanya’s Hope For Children several years ago, when she was just eight years old.

With the help of volunteers--Sanya's helpers--Pirani packages and sews hundreds of gift bags for homeless children at Christmastime. The gift bags, full of toys, clothing, books and school supplies, are given to homeless kids in the Minneapolis Metro area just before Christmas.

“We get to....hand donate these bags to the children and it’s really an amazing sight to see,” says Pirani. To hear more about this remarkable youngster and the progress ...

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On October 11, the world observed the International Day of Girls: a day dedicated to raising awareness of the serious issues facing the world's 1.1 billion girls, and promoting their empowerment. It's an enormous issue–one that requires our attention far beyond that single day.

Each year, about 246 million children are harassed and abused either at or on their way to school. Girls are disproportionately affected, a reality that curbs their academic lives and makes it more likely they will drop out. But things are slowly changing: fully twenty-five million child marriages have been prevented, just in the past ten years.

These two things–ending child marriage, and working to make sur...

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Opportunities for education in many areas of sub-Saharan Africa are scarce, and more than one-fifth of primary-school-age kids do not attend school throughout the region. Not content to sit on the sidelines, an organization called Street Child is acting to provide solutions for sub-Saharan children.

And they haven't been slow to the task. In the last decade, the org has helped to educate more than 250,000 children, and helped over 25,000 families start their own businesses. Now they've even enlisted the help of the royal family: Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, became a Patron Ambassador of Street Child when the organization joined forces with Children in Crisis.

For more about this impres...

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In a nation of just under 50 million, fully 3 million Kenyan kids are classified as orphans, and many of those are street children. It's a crisis of daunting proportions–but one crafty and compassionate organization has struck on what may be the perfect solution.

The people who run Agape Children’s Ministry started with one fundamental observation: the majority of Kenyan orphans actually have living relatives. Armed with that insight, the org's mission became to reunite as many of those kids with their families as possible. To date they have helped over 2,300 kids rejoin their families, and they've begun sharing their model with other outfits that hope to employ it elsewhere.

To he...

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As a youngster growing up in California's Salinas Valley, Fabiola Moreno Ruelas dealt with more than her share of hardship. She saw her father deported, and her family routinely struggled with housing and basic needs, at one point facing eviction.

Fortune is fickle however, and Fabiola received $29,000 on her 18th birthday as part of an injury settlement. But when the young student started to thinking of how to spend the money, she realized it shouldn't be on herself. Fabiola set up a scholarship program instead, naming it after her mother: the Ruelas Family Scholarship. Once Fabiola had ironed out the details, applications poured in, and Fabiola awarded her first scholarships to four student...

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When Annabelle Gurwitch decided to open her house to a homeless couple as part of her work with Safe Place for Youth, she didn't know what to expect. The author had been intrigued when she initially heard about their Host Home Program, which focuses on providing short-term “interventions” for young homeless adults. Wanting to "walk the walk" of her principles, she took the plunge--and the reality of opening her living space to strangers was both enervating and eye-opening.

In the end, Gurwitch's experience was an overwhelmingly positive one. And the Host Home model has shown great promise, both for curbing youth homelessness and changing public attitudes about the problem. And ...

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