Making A Difference For A Lifetime
Before making the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, Sergeant Henry Prendes dreamed of establishing a summer camp for inner-city youth. The fulfillment of that dream, Henry’s Place, will be much more than just a “fun summer camp”. Our goal is to provide life-changing experiences, instruction, and opportunities to at-risk and underprivileged children and youth — experiences that will equip them to succeed in facing the challenges of growing up in the inner- city.
Did you know ~
- That youth living in disadvantaged urban areas are at greater risk for smoking, trying alcohol and using drugs?
- That high school dropout rates are 12-15% worse in central city urban areas than in suburban, town, and rural areas and that high school dropouts are 2 times as likely to be unemployed, over 3 times as likely to get arrested, 6 times more likely to be an unwed single parent, and 7 times more likely to be on government assistance?
- That urban crime rates are about 3 times greater than rural crime rates and urban violent crime is about 4 times greater?
- That 98% of gang members are either dead, in prison or maimed for life?While the above facts are alarming, together we can make a difference!
Each summer, Henry’s Place will partner with Las Vegas area faith-based and secular community groups to identify approximately 500 at-risk youth, will provide them week-long life-changing camp experiences in beautiful Southern Utah, and then will aggressively encourage follow-up with mentoring organizations in their home communities (e.g. churches, Boys and Girls Clubs).
Can summer camp really make a difference?
Absolutely! By providing opportunities in a beautiful, fun-filled outdoor setting, youth will have an opportunity to retreat from the pressures of daily living and open up to experiential learning. Research by the University of Alabama indicates that many inner-city youth have severe feelings of hopelessness and that such hopelessness is a predictor of undesirable risk behaviors. At Henry’s Place, youth will experience a message of hope and will be given opportunities to build confidence, teamwork, and esteem through hands-on activities. Furthermore, research has shown that children in poverty stray away from academic and career topics and are taught to survive and live in the moment. Surrounded by a motivated and loving staff, youth at Henry’s place will be taught to think past their present circumstances and embrace their future potential.
Most importantly, Henry’s Place will encourage youth to place their faith in Jesus Christ and to turn to faith as an answer to the challenges that their life circumstances present. A study conducted by Harvard University labor economist Richard Freeman found that of all background factors that helped people to escape poverty, “the most powerful was weekly religious worship”. Another Harvard study found that inner-city boys who attend church regularly are 50 percent less likely to commit crimes, 54 percent less likely to use drugs, and 47 percent less likely to drop out of school.
We can make a difference in the lives of inner city youth – a difference that will benefit those youth, our communities, and our country’s future. But we cannot do this without YOU!
Will you help us fulfill the dream of Sergeant Prendes and make Henry’s Place a reality?