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Executive Summary

Saving Our Youth Organization (SOYO) is a non-profit organization in the business of saving America's youth.   A once great nation, a leader in the industry as well as education has fallen to the bottom of the mountain when it comes to the education of our youth.  SOYO is trying to create community centers as safe havens for our youth.  Places where our youth learn with specialized instruction and adult mentors.  SOYO has research and recognized that youth need outlets for energy and instruction in sporting activities.  All forms of promoting the activity selection will be done at the open community swimming and diving competitions.  We will try to offer a venue for each youth depending on the community. The in-house training center can be the arenas for Olympic athletes' to result from offering expert instruction and guidance.  Our Cheer and dance teams would help our youth earn scholarships to attend Universities and realize their dreams. With the rise in juvenile violence and juvenile crime we are taking a step forward as leaders to save our youth from this downward spiral.  We will create a centralized community center in cities with population centers of 500,000 or more.  The training, fitness, and activity center would state of the art.

The centers would need to be self-sufficient at some point.  We would create a board of directors for decision-making tasks; allowing advertisers to buy space and put this money in a trust fund to continue the funding of the operation.  The initial setup would be funded with federal dollars and by the community.  The youth centers trust fund would soon after be paying the cost for maintaining the centers.  We will fund local athletes in their endeavors striving to compete in national competitions. 

The goal is to return America to its former glory as a power house in athletics, education, and youth involvement.  No longer will local youth have to wonder if they can go to college, but to question which one.  No longer will local athletes have to give up their dreams due to the lack of training facilities' or funding.  SOYO will save the youth of America one city at a time if that's what it takes.

Dear U.S Dept. of Health & Human Services and Potential Investors:

Thank you for allowing our non-profit organization, Save Our Youth (SOYO) the opportunity for submitting requests for grant money.  Youth that reside in large cities with high unemployment across the country are becoming innocent victims.  Everyday these children are subjected to poor living conditions and they must fight to fend for themselves.  They are choosing to join street gangs and become drug abusers.  SOYO proposes to open youth community centers in these high crime and high unemployment cities.  The hope is that these centers will give young people some place to go in times of need and to offer them activities to keep their life choices positive. 

Needs Assessment

After long discussion with communities that face these problems, it is impossible for them to solely fund the necessary construction of a community center. The primary need for initial funding is to get the centers built and operational. It is entirely possible that a closed school in a district could be purchased and converted into the desired specifications of our proposed youth center. We need to seek funding up to the amount of 100 million dollars. Without this funding we will not be able to achieve the second part of our unique idea, a self funding trust for a free youth community center. 

Based on the needs previously stated this will be all SOYO would require in creating a self-sustaining youth community center.  The way to achieve self-sustainment is through advertising.  Companies will be allowed to bid on advertising rights to the exterior and interior of the building.  Companies will want to pay to advertise because of the market the community center will be creating, through its own competitive sports competitions.  The different variety of sports, classes, training, activities, and technology offered will bring in a diverse crowd for advertising exposure.  The youth will be provided with beneficial activities and the companies choosing to advertise with us will be on the front line of a new market.  

Services Provided

SOYO envisions many services that when offered can provide excitement and gratification for youth as well as adults who can benefit from the vast resources our community centers can offer.

The work involved in the construction or renovating of an existing structure; for use as a community center will be contracted out to bidders.  Quotes will need to fit into the budget that SOYO has developed pertaining to a particular location.  The budget will include the purchasing of land if the construction is a new build.  Once completed, SOYO community centers will need to draw in advertisers in by building a large stable user base.  This can be achieved through contacting high-profile individuals with public influence to assist as a volunteer.  To garner the majority of volunteer staffing at SOYO youth centers, the idea is to partner with the NFL to get some professional athletes to make an appearance and help out at centers.  When individuals find out that they can meet a professional athlete while helping out the youth, they will want to get involved themselves.  Involvement is the platform SOYO is founded upon.

SOYO recognizes that the amount of money requested is large; subsequently the goal is to keep the budget as small as possible when meeting with contractors.  SOYO recognizes that it will be extremely difficult to offer all of the proposed services from the beginning stages.  The goal is to offer a different activity on each day of the week, while other high-profile activities will run throughout the all week.  When the user base at the community center has reached a high enough level the amount of daily activities can be increased. 

If your respective departments have any suggestions for refining this plan, please let us at SOYO know. 

The project that our team is composing is a planning proposal. The proposal will focus on the associated aspects that come with financing, building, and running a community youth center. This planning document is targeted to external audiences, with the primary audience being the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Secondary audiences would consist of interested investors looking to help out communities.

For this project, the group leader will be Andrew Zaverl.  He will be handling scheduling and leading organization of the many parts of the project.   He is also responsible for submitting any parts of the project as they are due.  Richard Foster is responsible for main research on the project.  The entire team also participates in conducting research. Shanti Carter-Sweeting will be the person who formats required sources and puts them into the works cited.  Amy Taylor will be responsible for compiling individual parts of the project into a comprehensive document.  Jonathan Frantz will be responsible for editing the proposal and other parts for grammar and spelling; while also checking the structure contents.  Niesha Houston is responsible for creating any graphics or charts that are required throughout the project.  In addition to the research each member is responsible for writing their own portion of the project for addition to the comprehensive report. All team members will be responsible for brainstorming and discussing ideas concerning the project. This is done through the discussion board, the online chat room, email, or phone calls.

Project Timeline

December 5 - Meet online discussing the Proposal & Project Plan.

December 6 - Meet online discussing the Proposal & Project Plan.

December 7 - Complete Proposal and Project Plan.

December 8 - Meet and divide parts of Project work on until December 11.

December 10 - Compile APA citation sources for submission.

December 11 - Meeting to discuss and compile Project report.

December 13 - Submit compiled final copy for peer review.

December 15 - Meeting to discuss final revisions

December 16 - Submit Final Copy of Project for Grading

The proposal plan gives the team a set of guidelines to proceed on the project with timelines. If problems arise they can be handled with clarification from the team as a whole. Performances evaluations will be conducted throughout the project. This is to ensure all team members are staying busy and on task to complete the project within the timeline.

The SOYO organization has put great effort and research into understanding the process of successful fund-raising.  In doing this, SOYO has discovered that having many varying fund-raising sources is the way most organizations use to become successful in raising a significant amount of money.  "A landmark new series of studies on philanthropic practices has found that today's most effective fundraisers use a variety of well-rounded programs and activities to raise money, shattering the myth that large ticket galas, golf tourneys, and telethons are the only way to attract donors.  The most successful fundraising programs have a sustained emphasis on building relationships and cultivating and maintaining major gift donations (Renzetti, 2008).  Also, doing a feasibility study can be a great benefit to any organization with the goal of raising money.  The study will usually reveal a great deal of information about the likelihood of attaining the money that is anticipated. 

SOYO's potential sources for fund-raising income include: renting advertising space on the walls of the center, renting the center out for banquets, etc., famous athlete events, mail solicitation, online requests, routine can drives, fund-raising banquets, and getting the right people to back the center. 

Getting big companies involved and "in the know" on what the community center represents, is essential to making the rental of wall space in the community center a success.  It is not just about the particular advertising space or the amount of people who will be exposed to the advertising.  It is where the space is, and what that says about the company that makes use of it.  It says that they were willing to pay extra to outbid others, in support of the communities' youth. 

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Community support by a company will go a long way towards the future sales of that company. 

Renting the center out for banquets, ceremonies, etc. is sure to bring in money.  This type of fund-raising is more structured though.  There are a limited amount of nights to rent the center out, and there is a reasonable price for the rental. By getting the word out about the community center's mission and how running it is accomplished; however, there is likely to be potential renters who are willing to pay top dollar. 

By famous athlete events, we are referring to having famous athletes attend plenty of SOYO events.  This inspires volunteers' efforts to assist at SOYO, which benefits the center.  This is not a direct money source, but we are benefiting financially from having more volunteers.  The athletes themselves are also known to donate.  According to Dr. Mathew J. Robinson, women athletes are an untapped market for fund-raising.  Dr. Robinson informs us that woman have gotten much closer to reaching their potential in sports, in recent years.  The increase in the amount of women involved in athletics, reveals a woman's potential to donate.  Dr. Robinson goes on to relay that "although men and women are both potential donors to athletics, their motivations for donating may differ.  It is worthwhile to understand these differences, in a study titled "UCLA Women and Philanthropy Focus Group Study Report," authors Sublett & Stone found that, of those who are general donors to UCLAL, men donated for recognition, reciprocal benefits, networking, tax purposes, and business reasons.  Women, on the other hand, gave because of a personal response to need, gave money and time, gave to make a personal impact, gave to make a difference, and wanted to be personally involved in the organization"

Mail and online solicitation for funds can be a highly profitable means of acquiring funds.  The outcome of these solicitations depends upon many factors.  One factor is tactfulness.  It is important not to ask for money in inappropriate settings.  The person being asked to give should be given some background information about the benefits of the center to the community.  Then the potential donor should be invited to assist the center as they see fit.

Can drives are something that anyone can participate in year round.  Youth in the community that are members of the center (and old enough to drive) drive will be assigned to certain routes to pick up cans in designated drop off locations.  Not only will this help with raising money, but it will also give the young people a feeling of accomplishment and a feeling of being a part of the centers success.  As with the other fund-raising events, advertising is crucial.  If people do not know about the can drives, they will not participate.

Where will SOYO obtain advertising money?  SOYO anticipates some advertising sources to volunteer their services.  This is good advertising for the advertisers.  If they can get the SOYO name out, SOYO will be a good example of how well their services work.

"A fund-raising feasibility study is a tool used by organizations to determine their proposed capital fund-raising campaign has those ingredients for a good chance of success.  The feasibility study should identify how much an organization can reasonably raise, how long it should take to do it, and what costs would be involved in managing the campaign.  A good study will also identify potential leaders and donors, strengths and weaknesses of the campaign, and include recommendations on how the campaign should be conducted" (Fundraising Feasibility, Para. 1).  

At SOYO, we take the information that a feasibility study provides seriously.  As the study indicates is necessary, we have a good case for support, our needs are justified, and we have many potential donor sources, great leaders, enough future resources, and a strategy for our actions (Fundraising Feasibility, Para.3). 

SOYO's study, conducted by a respected and independent source, proved our beliefs that we have covered all important bases.  The study revealed that our potential fund-raising sources are realistic, and our plans for running the center are sound.  "An organization that is properly prepared for a campaign attracts better volunteers and larger lead gifts and, ultimately, raises more money.  A good study will help an organization set the highest attainable goal and develop the best strategies to achieve that goal" (Fundraising Feasibility, Para. 12) 

Location is vital when constructing a youth community center.  The goal is to make it as beneficial to as many youth as possible.  Citizens in high crime and unemployment areas would be able to get the most use out of a community center.  Many young people in poorer areas don't have access to the internet; it is a powerful tool that can be used for learning.  Real estate is valuable; in today's market the prices have dropped substantially making a community center a smart move.  A youth community center improves the quality of life for citizens and increases the value of surrounding homes and businesses.  In the right location it can bring jobs to people who desperately need something.

The reason for choosing a location with high unemployment and crimes rates is to better benefit the citizen of that community.  Places with high crime rates need something to get the youth off the streets.  Often times the youth in these cities join gangs because of the lack of activities for them to participate in.  Community centers should be as close to schools as possible so the youth can be within walking distance of a center.  To further grow the user base a location near mass transit pick-up and drop-off zones will cater to youth that do not have a vehicle. This is also great for the companies that advertise on the community center.  They are getting exposure in a high pedestrian and vehicles traffic area increasing the centers negotiation rates.

Location Infrastructure

When choosing a location the available infrastructure needs to be taken into consideration.  With the addition of many computers and internet enabled devices at the center it will require internet access.  The size of the center will require a business line that may be in the form of fiber optic cable, run from the community center to the Internet Service Provider's (ISP) central office.  The building location needs to be in an area that allows selling unused electricity from the solar panels and wind turbines on the building back to the grid.  Selling electricity back to the grid allows the community center to generate some money from its unused resource. 

Building a community center of this magnitude will run into associated problems.  With current economic conditions many properties are for sale on the market.  In the city finding enough property lots connected together can be tough for building a horizontal community center.  Another option is to build the center vertically.  This creates several advantages through building a community center consisting of several floors.  Building vertically allows the center to gain height over the surrounding buildings.  The height is good for the green technologies on the roof.  Solar panels can generate more electricity from the increased sunlight levels.  Wind turbines can generate more electricity through higher wind gust speeds because of the increased height of the building.  The cost of a vertical building is more than that of a horizontal one and these need to be factored with the amount of land required for each type. 

Benefits of the Youth

The SOYO foundation is aiming towards the improvement of education but also the surroundings in the community. Putting up these community centers in areas that are typically not the best environments and areas will help lower the number of juvenile crimes in the area. The community centers will be an area for the younger crowds to play sports, workout, relax and work on homework. When we have the younger people playing sports they will stay activity and keep their focus away from doing the wrong things and staying away from the wrong crowds. According to the FBI, the ones that are at higher risk of committing crimes or being the victim are at the ages of 12 years old to 17 years of age which happen typically between 3pm and 6pm when school is done. By having the community centers open after school hours this will reduce the crimes that are committed by the young. The community center will also help children to stay away from bad behaviors that are unsafe and start to build good habits and qualities within each individual's personality.

Another benefit of the community center is that it will increase the level of education. These tie in with the crime rates. When we have the number of crimes being reduced by younger groups, then it will create the effect of increase level of education for the young. Instead of having young groups of teens committing crimes they will know they have a safe place to study, do homework and get tutoring which will increase the younger people to want to learn and do well in school. The community center would then increase the educational opportunities such as the number of students that graduate from high school allowing them to go to college and receive scholarships.

With the number of overweight children consistently increasing, the community center would be a great place to keep the kids active especially when parents may be working or busy and they have little time to make sure that their kids are healthy. The community center will reduce the number of overweight children within each community. Parents can have their children go to the community center after school and pick them up there giving the younger people a place to stay healthy and build good habits instead of watching T.V. or playing video games for hours. It would also increase the opportunities for kids to place sports. Since not all kids can play on a school sports team, the community center would be able to offer that opportunity to play the sport they love instead of being not having anything at all.

Community centers in many areas will have a huge effect on our youth. It will help reduce the number of crimes committed by the younger groups, increase the level of education, give more opportunities to our youth and reduce the number of overweight children. Kids are the way of our future and by giving this opportunity to all of the youth in the communities will allow them to build their future. This will also create a better long-term outlook of what that area will look like years to come versus continuing to raise crime levels and not offering the chance. The community center will be the first step in lowering crime rates. Instead of letting crime recruit more of the youth in the communities, community centers will reverse this. Kids are easily influenced and by offering a place for young people to interact, build personality and learn together will have a huge impact on the community. Having community centers is not the only solution to ending crime, increasing education and improving our children's health but is a step towards creating a more peaceful community and step toward the final goal.

The belief of SOYO is that the youth of America are in trouble declining test scores. More corporations are looking outside the country to fill their technical knowledge needs. We at SOYO have devised a multiply point attack to save the youth of America from mediocrity. Our upbeat approach to changing the needs of youth we will be offering many more opportunities.  The National center for educational statistics has found over 16,122 or 17% of schools are considered high poverty. These schools have a smaller percentage of teachers with Masters Degrees (Statistics, 2010).  These schools also do not perform well on the Meap tests. These are the areas SOYO will be targeting with their community center.

Computers and Labs

The SOYO will create up to date computer labs with both Apple and pc computers so the youth will be able to experience both operating systems. Computer lab aides will be available to help when there are questions are problems. Repairs in the computer lab will be learning experience teaching students how to trouble shoot and repair software and hardware.  We will offer after school instruction in many mainline software programs. This is how to create your own movie or design your own home using CAD (Computer aided design).  As more and more businesses become computerized the center will strive to keep the youth up to date. As many schools are closing their extracurricular activities down we will be filling the void with new inspirational ideas.  W e will offer a free secure wireless hub with fire walls to protect the youth from entering the wrong sites. Many senior citizens who need them to feel appreciated will find fulfillment teaching our nation's youth work ethics and the use of technology in the work place. This will make the transition to the college level easier and smoother.

Tutoring and discussion groups

This will involve offering one on one instruction and group tutoring in all major subjects. Some sessions will be lead by older students. We will offer college fund support to students who help by volunteering to help as tutors at the center. We will also offer discussion groups that are geared towards helping understand abstract topics and topics that are of interest to students, such as alternatives to college. We know all parents wish to see their children graduate college. Yet sometimes the youth have other dreams the world cannot operate on engineering alone we need mechanics, painters and other forms of laborers. Offering tutorials in other topics can open the scope and horizons of our youth.

The decrease in educational values and the decline in our nations test scores in science, Math and reading. These issues are causing our youth to fall behind the rest of the world.  Our nation's youth need a better chance as other nations invest in their education of their youth. We are cutting funding for education.  Our children go into thousands of dollars of debt to receive a college degree.  Craig Barrett former CEO fortune has become a major advocate of the decline in the education system in the United States. The scores of fifteen year old in math and science are well below average (Scott, 2010). In science America was 19th out of 65 other countries. Many CEO's and educational advocate believe the expectations for our youth are set to low. Many are beginning to advocate an exit exam for graduation from high school such as the one used in Arizona. We also are in need of the governors of each state to come together and create a core curriculum that all students must cover when attending high school. The SOYO campaign will help the students fulfill these requirements and prepare them for a new global economy.

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