Recently we sat down with Jack Kaminer, Executive Director of Focus for a Future. Since 2003, Focus for a Future helps young people from underprivileged areas learn the importance of focusing on academics, athletics, interpersonal relationships and the making positive choices in life.
What is Focus for A Future?
Focus For a Future is a non-profit organization (501-C3) that places less advantaged children in for-profit summer camps. Eligibility is based on a student’s character, behavior and effort in the classroom as well as the family’s financial need. Selections are made by educators involved with the child in a school setting. Please visit our website for more information: focusforafuture.org
When did your start Focus for a Future and what made you decide to start the program?
In retirement, I knew that I wanted to work with children. In 2003, Focus For a Future became a non-for -profit organization. The first camper was from New Rochelle and was placed at Camp Lenox where I was, and continue to be, the Basketball Director. That young man from New Rochelle spent 9 years at Lenox as a camper, counselor and group leader, and is now a college graduate.
Did you go or work at camp? If so, what is your fondest memory?
I have worked at several camps over the years. I attended a two week non-for -profit camp as a kid and it made quite an impression on me. I remember learning how to swim there.
How do campers qualify for your program?
Our educators base their choices on our criteria which you can see on our website.
How many camps and how many campers do you hope to place this summer?
We will have in excess of 70 camps and should surpass the 160 campers we placed in the summer of 2011.
What can people do to help your worthy cause?
Donations can be made to help provide scholarship campers with personal needs such as clothing, sneakers, trips, canteen etc. Information on how to make a donation is on our website.
Is there one story or camper that sticks out in your mind that you would like to share with us?
There have been many fantastic children that we placed who have experienced a very difficult childhood. Camp owners/directors and teachers have expressed what wonderful summers each of these children have had. Educators and parents have expressed how the camp experience has changed the lives of these children in many positive ways. There are too many stories to focus on just one camper, but the opportunity to attend camp can change a life!
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