Our Mission (statement)
Junket Inc. is a for life mentoring group for youth involved in the foster care system holding a primary goal of equipping youth with realistic and tangible life skills as they transition into independent living. The Junket family functions as a means to build consistent, positive relationships with the youth while establishing a support system that will carry them through the ups and downs of life. Youth involved in the foster care system will be faced with a decrease in support as they transition into independent living at age 21. Junket maintains dependable support; there is no cut-off age and no end of support.
Junket provides practical tools and funds to support the youth as they create and manage a project of their choosing. The project enables them to build skills which can later be applied in a work environment, with leadership, relationship building, and conflict resolution as core values. A dual purpose of the project is to learn the significance of giving back. The proceeds of the project are invested back into the community whether by donation or hands-on volunteer experience.
Junket is dedicated to walk alongside the youth as they develop their understanding of self-worth and their ability to direct their future and the worlds in which they live.
How it all started ...
In 2008, I [Heather] began volunteering with Mercy First Foster Care Agency, and in 2010 began one-on-one mentoring. The experience was rewarding on many levels; my mentee was learning from me and I was learning from her. When my mentee could not stop saying great things about an all-girls mentoring group that no longer met, the idea of Junket began. A few months later, Mercy First approved the launch of a new mentoring group for girls.
And now the story begins …
In June 2011 I [Sara] joined as a fellow mentor and the group began taking shape. Our first task was to choose the name of the group. When we stumbled across Jun•ket [noun], we knew we had found a perfect fit. A journey or excursion for pure enjoyment. Exactly what life ought to be and exactly the kind of environment we wanted to create for the girls. We wanted to build consistent relationships while giving them each a platform of leadership within the group. Each group member had something unique to contribute, and we hoped that each one would have a chance to shine in what she did best.
Since Junket started, we added boys to the mix in January 2012 and stumbled, full speed ahead with our design projects. Starting with Tees and Totes to support our first giving back project, built a well in Ethiopia through Charity Water, pack of Brooklyn postcards and currently we are working on telling the "real" story of foster care to share in different forms of media which we hope to move onto other topics we feel passionate about.
So far the journey has been great, full of ups and downs, tough moments but also some great ones that inevitably humble us.
There is genius in each member of Junket and we look forward to seeing them walk through life; building them up as best we know how.
Check out our projects page to see the current Impact • Influence • Change project we are currently working on.
Visit our giving back page to see the final status on the well in Ethiopia, Junket ART hanging in the Youth Reception Center for Mercy First/ACS in Park Slope, plus the local giving projects we are establishing right in our own neighborhoods!