SOURCE: UrbanPromise Miami

UrbanPromise Miami

April 24, 2012 09:47 ET

UrbanPromise Brings Successful Youth Program to Miami

Unique Program Model Offers Vocational Training for Teens, Summer Camp and Afterschool Programs for Children in High-Risk Communities

MIAMI, FL --(Marketwire - April 24, 2012) -   UrbanPromise Miami is proud to announce the launch of its first afterschool program serving children and youth in under-resourced communities in Miami-Dade County. A non-profit organization dedicated to giving children living in high-risk areas opportunities to develop and succeed to their full potential, UrbanPromise provides free summer camp and afterschool programs that offer homework assistance, academic enrichment activities, professional coaching in reading, family counseling, and arts and recreational activities to children and youth ages 5-18. Through its unique Street Leader Program where teens mentor younger children, UrbanPromise also extends vocational training and leadership opportunities to teens. UrbanPromise Miami is based on the successful model of UrbanPromise in Camden, N.J., which for the past 25 years has been helping youth graduate and succeed in what has been called "one of America's most violent cities."

"Youth crime statistics reveal that the peak hours for violent juvenile crime are between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.," said Kristy Nuñez, Esq., UrbanPromise Miami co-founder. "With the many challenges of crime, poverty, and drugs that children face in Miami's inner city, our mission is to keep these children from becoming another statistic."

UrbanPromise is based on a holistic approach of encouraging children's growth academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually and providing programs that address children's developmental needs as they grow. A faith-based 501(c)(3) organization, UrbanPromise was founded in 1988 in Camden, N.J., to assist children living in a city with one of the highest crime rates in the country. For its success helping youth graduate and succeed, UrbanPromise Camden has been featured on ABC's 20/20 television program and Oprah Winfrey's OWN network. In Camden, where the high school graduation rates are consistently among New Jersey's lowest, the high school graduation rate among the teens in UrbanPromise's Street Leader Program has been 100% since 2000.

UrbanPromise first began piloting its programs in Miami in 2010 through a six-week summer camp in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood. The new afterschool program, which was recently launched in late January 2012, serves 130 children and is held daily between 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in Little Havana. More than 60% of the families served through the Little Havana site have a household income of less than $15,000. A second site serving the North Miami / Carol City area is planned for the summer of 2012.

"One of the key features of the UrbanPromise Program Model is providing a continuum of services that can follow a child's development through adolescence," said Dr. Ana M. Ojeda, psychologist and UrbanPromise Miami co-founder. "While our first introduction to Miami was through our summer camp program, having our children stay both in the summer camp and in the afterschool programs is really what allows us to have the biggest impact."

While most afterschool programs only run through middle school, UrbanPromise's Street Leader Program allows teens to continue their relationship with UrbanPromise through the age of 18 and even beyond as they begin college. By training local teenagers to lead the younger children in the summer camp and afterschool programs and paying them a stipend as well as providing them with community service hours, UrbanPromise coaches them on important leadership and job skills. "This continued relationship through the teen years is critical to helping youth succeed," added Dr. Ojeda.

UrbanPromise Miami's new afterschool program will provide the following services:

  • homework assistance and tutoring
  • reading assistance by a professional reading coach
  • academic enrichment activities
  • free professional counseling for families and children
  • arts and recreational activities
  • a food program that provides two healthy snacks daily and a full lunch on Fridays
  • lessons and skits in Christian relational values such as respect, love, and forgiveness 

As the organization continues to grow, UrbanPromise Miami plans to host monthly educational field trips and will launch a crime prevention program called BARS that will bring speakers to discuss crime and safety with the children. For more information, visit www.urbanpromisemiami.org.

About UrbanPromise Ministries
UrbanPromise has one clear mission: to build a city of promise, one child at a time. By equipping Camden's children and young adults with the skills necessary for academic achievement and moreover, life management, UrbanPromise has grown from a tiny summer camp program to a multifaceted institution with a reputation of solidarity and success. Among its many programs are private schools for grades K-12, afterschool programs, summer camps, and various other recreational and educational programs, each targeting different parts of the lives of Camden's youth. Learn more about UrbanPromise at www.urbanpromiseusa.org

About UrbanPromise Miami
Founded in 2010 by Dr. Ana Ojeda and Kristy Nuñez, Esq., UrbanPromise Miami is a non-profit organization committed to serving youth living in under-resourced communities in Miami-Dade County. Through afterschool, summer camp, and other supplemental programs, UrbanPromise Miami provides children with a safe and structured family-like environment that affords them the opportunity to grow academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. UrbanPromise Miami is rooted in Christian values and based on the successful model of UrbanPromise Ministries in Camden, N.J. Its vision is to reduce crime rates, increase graduation rates, and equip children and young adults to become positive role models and leaders. For more information, visit www.urbanpromisemiami.org

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact: 
    Ana M. Ojeda
    Co-Founder and Director of Programs
    Email contact
    (305) 790-4459