National -- If you've ever wondered what you can do to help young people, two organizations offer some possibilities:
- Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) is an Alexandria, Virginia-based group with 28 state affiliates nationwide. Its goal is to ensure that at-risk youths graduate from high school and find employment and/or go to college. The program stresses career development, time management, goal-setting and achievement during high school.
Entrepreneurs can get involved by volunteering to speak on topics such as what it takes to obtain employment at their companies. Entrepreneurs also serve as judges during annual career development conferences held by each of the JAG chapters. Finally, entrepreneurs can pledge to hire and retain JAG graduates.
There is no cost to get involved in JAG. To find the program nearest you, call (703) 684-9479 or visit http://www.jag.org
- Manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of clothing, personal-care products, books, school supplies and other similar items can donate them to a Kids 'N Need Resource Center.
Established in Chicago by the School and Home Office Products Association (SHOPA) Foundation for Educational Excellence, the centers help students who can't afford these types of basic items. The centers have spread to Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, DC; SHOPA's goal is to continue to open locations across the country.
In addition to the centers, SHOPA has a Help-A-Teacher program. This program offers grants to help teachers complete creative and unique teaching projects for which they might not otherwise be able to obtain funding.
To help underwrite the grants, entrepreneurs are encouraged to donate money and supplies to the foundation. For details, call SHOPA at (937) 297-2250.