It's a harsh reality that 11.3 million children have to take care of themselves after the school day ends. Not surprisingly, the peak hours for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs and alcohol are between 3 and 6pm. After-school programs are critical to children and families today, yet the need for programs is far from being met.
This is why The Guardian Project was started.
What is the Guardian Project?
Guardian is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides FREE after-school training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing to Oakland's youth. We aim to provide at-risk youth with skills that help them build self-esteem, confidence and discipline through martial arts. The goal is to prepare kids for the future by providing a world-class environment to connect with mentors, peers, and community leaders.
Why martial arts?
The benefits of martial arts extend to and improve all aspects of life. Students gain the ability to focus, work hard, believe in themselves, and create a loving and welcoming community for others. Guardian provides a safe haven before and after training that includes desks, computers, and mentors for students. Mentors will aid students with their homework as well as teach passion projects such as video editing, web design, and other essential communication skills of today and tomorrow.
What has been done so far?
The founders of the Guardian Project, Joel and Ben, have been working over the last 18 months, nights and weekends, outside of their full-time careers at Twitter. They have put in their own money to date to fund all of the legal and accounting, pre-payment of lease, first year insurance, starter equipment, and everything else to get Guardian to this point. They are not receiving any salary or financial compensation related to The Guardian Project.
What will they use the funds for?
The funds raised in this campaign is to give this gift to over 225 children in the first year.
The donations will apply directly to covering the cost of the students’ membership. Although most commercial martial arts gym memberships can range from $125 to over $200 per month, they have been able to cost out a child's monthly fees at roughly $45. They have secured a beautiful space in downtown Oakland for the next five years and the doors have just opened as of December 14th for both kids and adults to begin training.
This idea has become a reality with hard work and love. Now they need help to make it a success.
The crowdfunding goal is $126,500.