We strongly believe in helping our at-risk and under-resourced children, one child at a time, one day at a time. Advocating for a child who has few choices and offering compassion and encouragement through arts and education can change a family, a neighborhood, a classroom, or a school, and help empower entire communities. Instilling hope in an at-risk child’s daily life inspires fortitude and confidence in a better future.
Empowering Our Youth
We have witnessed the incredibly positive results of helping an underserved child have a better home life, get to school, feel less afraid, get badly needed healthcare, and excel in educational programs like STEM and the arts.
With our help, these children feel that they have a real chance for a bright future and grow into educated, confident, talented, thriving individuals who can overcome adversity, accelerate their own opportunities, share their successes with those coming up behind them, and have many opportunities they may not otherwise have had.
St. Louis has one of the highest national rates of at-risk youth who live in poverty with fewer educational programs and less opportunity to find their way out of dire situations.
At-Risk Children Need Our Help
The Berges Family Foundation is working hard with our nonprofit partners to change at-risk children’s futures deeply, on a one-to-one basis. Through our youth empowerment efforts that cross many of our focus areas – STEM preparedness, cultural arts, and even help for heroes – young people are lifted up and encouraged to take charge of their lives and their futures through education, community involvement, and cultural arts.
But we still need your help! It is imperative to reach these children with private funding and volunteerism, giving them a fighting chance to change not only their lives but entire communities for a brighter future for St. Louis.
Education Is The Key to Change
Our society has to be very intentional about the way youth are cared for and encouraged by promoting quality education, STEM preparedness, and cultural opportunities, along with genuine compassion and strength of purpose.
One of our favorite examples of youth empowerment is Marian Middle School, St. Louis’ only all-girls Catholic middle school with 75 students, 90 percent of whom live below the poverty level.
Since the opening of the Berges Family Innovation Center, the girls’ hunger for knowledge has grown; they have raised all of their test scores and their interest in STEM professions. These young girls are so bright and confident in their abilities, when asked, 92% of them named a STEM career choice with unwavering certainty.
Marian also has an after-school enrichment program that includes Fine and Performing Arts, Fitness and Wellness, Social Awareness, and Academics. These programs enable them to develop talents and gain additional knowledge that is imperative to living independent, positive lives and being a contributing part of our communities. If these girls did not have access to the gift of quality education, their futures would look grim.
Only Possible Through Donations
Most youth empowerment programs and education are only possible through grants and donations. In order to reach the thousands of at-risk, impoverished children with education and programs that foster hope for their futures and ours, we must do our part.
Many of the nonprofits we support – COCA, Voices for Children, Hawthorne Leadership School for Girls, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, Ranken Technical College, Ranken Jordan Hospital, and The Mission Continues – all help children in need reach their full potential and grow into educated, kind, empowered adults who will perpetuate a positive cycle for those coming up behind them. To read amazing success stories from these organizations, see our success stories page (and grab a tissue).
Join Us By Giving Today
We cannot say enough about how important youth empowerment is to the future of this country and our great city of St. Louis. We are at a dangerous precipice and need to take giant steps forward in order for our underserved youth to thrive and become capable, educated adults.
It is up to us to change the downward spiral of poverty and education. Please join us in giving to our city’s youth organizations in any way you can. Share our mission, donate, volunteer, hold a fundraiser – no matter how small you feel your contribution may be, to a child – it’s worth gold. Please get involved – our youth are our future.
Read more about our Youth Empowerment Success Stories
The Berges Family Foundation supports the institutions and organizations that make Saint Louis a great place to live, visit, and invest.
- Berges Family Foundation Hires Kelly Pollock as Chief Executive OfficerJuly 13, 2022 - 3:06 pm
- The Missouri History Museum & The Future Lab: St. Louis’ Past and Present Inspiring a Better FutureDecember 9, 2021 - 11:15 am
- St. Louis Public Schools Foundation: Helping 20,000 Students Through COVID-19October 20, 2021 - 4:30 pm
- College Bound St. Louis – Holistic Support for Youth to Achieve a College DegreeSeptember 17, 2021 - 2:17 pm