This is part three of a weekly series of interviews with Starfishers. Starfishers are amazing people who are making a difference in a community or in the world. To read more about Starfishers and Operation Starfish, click here. The purpose of this is to inspire us to begin projects of our own. I believe that many of us have that “If only we had this, we could help/save that…” feeling but aren’t sure where to start. I thought a good way to inspire others would be to have those that have done it share their stories.
This week’s interview is the first on A Life Set Free on video. In it, I sit down with Chris Senesi of StandUp for Kids in Boulder, Colorado. Chris is a graduate student and in his spare time, is the National Director of the Don’t Run Away Program. Six years ago at the age of 17, he spearheaded the Cleveland, Ohio chapter and now volunteers with the Boulder chapter.
The mission of StandUp for Kids is to end the cycle of youth homelessness. We see homeless adults everywhere, but homeless kids are usually invisible, so it’s an issue that often goes unnoticed. These are some of the statistics of youth homelessness in the United States:
- There are 1.3 – 2.8 million homeless and street kids, half of which are under the age 15
- 1 out of every 7 children will run away between the ages of 10 and 18
- One child runs away every minute of every day
- In 75% of cases, runaways gone for two or more weeks become involved in theft, drugs, or pornography
- 100,000 youths sleep on the streets for six months or more each year
StandUp for Kids carries out their mission through volunteers who go to the streets in order to find, stabilize and help homeless and street kids improve their lives. StandUp does this through programs like Don’t Run Away which prevents runaways, JustUs which reaches out to homeless kids, and Outreach that helps to locate and assist homeless and at-risk kids on the street.
Without further ado, here is the video. Chris is a natural on the camera, but this is my video debut, so please go easy on me!
After watching the video, if you have any questions or comments about StandUp for Kids for Chris, please leave them in the comments below!
Don’t forget to leave questions or comments below!