In a world with 24/7 connectivity to phones, social media and the internet, school-aged children are at an all-time high for stress. I’m honored to announce that Homes for Goodwill be partnering with Mothers Awareness on School-aged Children (MASK)for the month of August.

Drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, bullying, these are the types of issues our youth now face around the clock. Before the Internet age, kids were exposed to issues while at school but it doesn’t stop now, there is no break; no safe place.

The numbers are staggering when it comes to what children are exposed to.

  • 7,540 kids aged 12–17 drink alcohol for the first time every day
  • 4 out of 5 high school teens have witnessed the sale of illegal drugs at school
  • 6 out of 10 teens witness bullying at least once a day

That’s why a group of dedicated mothers, and local community members, created MASK in 2007. Their goal was (and still is) to tackle the variety of issues plaguing today’s youth. MASK’s mission is based in their E3 program; Engage, Educate and Empower. The E3 Institute is a comprehensive yearlong multi-year approach to building and strengthening life skills for children. The Institute has different levels: Storytime (Pre-K), MASK Academy (Kindergarten to 6th grade), MASK Prep (middle and high school), MASK Leadership (college) and Parent University.

In partnership with Arizona State University, MASK has trained and certified university students to become MASK mentors who facilitate these developmentally appropriate E3 lessons in schools. Following each E3 lesson, there is a video series that reinforces the messaging along with a year-long lesson book and writing prompts, that meet educational standards and compliment the E3 lessons. In conjunction with the lessons for students, MASK Education Specialists facilitate three Parent University lessons a year. At the end of an academic school year, MASK will have visited and implemented lessons or reinforcement activities 12 times.

MASK believes in educating the whole family and fully supports opening up the lines of communication. They give parents and kids, from kindergarten through college, information to deal with these issues head on. The growing problems of lowered self-esteem and stress are taking over children’s lives and the family can play a huge role in helping combat these issues.

In addition to the MASK Institute, MASK has a very informative website and MASK The Magazine. The Magazine is a parenting manual that offers solutions to modern-day challenges families face.

After spending time listening and learning from the staff, specificallyKimberly Cabral (Founder/Publisher) and Michelle Cardini (Marketing and Communications Manager) we decided that the best story for Homes for Good to support in August, would be to help recognize an immediate need by specifically raises funds and awareness for MASK’s back to school prep at Noterra Canyon school in Phoenix near Anthem. This school implemented MASK Prep last year and the students and teachers responded very positively to the program and are committed to securing funding to implement year 2. It’s our goal to raise $3,200, which would give the school access to the program for the entire 2018/2019 school year. With Austin Bates of V.I.P. Mortgage matching all donations as my title sponsor, that means more opportunity to reach our goal, and to make a significant impact. The year 2 video series educates students on critical issues such as sex trafficking, online predators and substance abuse.

MASK Prep is a comprehensive, year long two-year approach to building and strengthening life skills for junior high school-age children. MASK Prep facilitates three E3 lessons per year (Fall, Winter, Spring) based on three categories; Relational Development, Digital Solutions, and Health and Wellness. Relational Development focuses on social skills. Digital Solution focuses on technology safety and use. Health and Wellness focuses on healthy lifestyle choices to prevent substance use and improve overall health.

As both a dedicated ASU alum and a father of two young children, I’m honored for the opportunity to use my platform of real estate and Homes for Good to support such an inspiring organization committed to making a difference of the lives of many. For more information or to get involved please visit MaskMatters.org.

I would also like to thank my friend Natalie Nojaim — one of this years Honored Heroes for the LLSLight the Night Walk November 17 — for the work and fundraising accomplished this past month which totaled$1,003 in support of her #NATALIE’S STRONGER THAN CANCER TEAM fundraising campaign in favor of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) and Light the Night. It was a privilege representing you and your story in the community, and I look forward to continuing to build off of the good and the many established relationships!

I am often asked how people can get involved and really there are so many ways. You can absolutely donate through my recently launched website, but you can also nominate a local organization. However, perhaps the most impactful way you can help is to share.  Share these stories, talk to people, tell them how they can get involved and help me affect real and lasting change.

“The world is changed by your example not by your opinion”
 — Paulo Coelho

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2018-12-06T12:31:03+00:00

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