The Bowery Mission's children programs, Mont Lawn Camp and Mont Lawn City Camp, are changing the life direction of at-risk youth in New York City. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a child is defined as highly "at-risk" of school dropout if they are (1) living in a one-parent household where (2) that parent is a high school dropout, and (3) the family lives below the poverty line and (4) receives public assistance, among other factors.
Growing up in New York City can be hard for any child. It is even harder for youth at-risk of dropping out of school. Besides dropout, at-risk youth are at much higher risk of teen pregnancy, gang participation and other violent activities, and lower earning potential across their lifetime.
Mont Lawn Camp and Mont Lawn City Camp reach out with life changing programming to the 27% of New York City youth living in poverty. We have been helping at-risk youth since 1894. Today, we provide educational opportunities, mentoring, and summer camp adventures. We measure our progress against five criteria, which indicate to us that a child's life direction has been changed: connection to faith, connection to a caring adult and a positive peer group, commitment to graduating, and a plan for the future.