Friends of the Children, a national nonprofit that pairs children who face multiple systemic obstacles with a paid, professional mentor called a Friend for 12+ years, announced today that they are launching a Friends of the Children-Twin Cities chapter and have named Minneapolis resident Brett Buckner as the executive director.
“We are thrilled at the opportunity for our community to benefit from the impact of this 30-year-old long-term mentorship model,” said Buckner. “Thanks to extensive community support, each child in our program will have a Friend for 12+ years—no matter what—to walk alongside them through the ups and downs, and everything in between. Together we can support the bright futures of youth who are facing a lot of challenges and also deserve to experience hope and joy.”
Friends of the Children-Twin Cities will begin working with children ages 4 to 6 in Hennepin and Ramsey counties who identify as Black and Indigenous and have been impacted by systems like child welfare or the justice system. Each child selected will be paired with a Friend whose full-time job is to spend four hours a week with each child holistically – at school, at home and in the community. Friends will support youth and, by extension their families, building trusting relationships through a trauma-informed lens that provides critical social, emotional and academic support.
“We have taken great care to build strong relationships with community, government, nonprofit organizations and business leaders from across Hennepin and Ramsey counties to successfully launch Friends of the Children-Twin Cities,” says Buckner. “We’re excited to partner with child well-being leaders throughout our community to help us identify and support children and families who stand to benefit most from the support of a Friend.”
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