AWOL All Walk of Life, Inc. is proud to announce that the organization has been awarded a grant in the amount of $20,000 from the Comcast Foundation. This support comes at a significant time for AWOL. With government budget cuts looming, support from local and national foundations will be critical to help buoy AWOL’s budget and allow them to continue serving local youth.
Support from the Comcast Foundation will allow for AWOL to purchase updated equipment and supplies for the program as well as support the program’s continued operations. The benefits to the community are numerous: Youth ages 12-18 have access to high quality arts and technology programs that increase their digital literacy levels and promote positive relationships with adult role models.
“This is a really exciting and extremely important initiative for Comcast and the Comcast Foundation. Developing digital literacy skills in young people is essential to their future,” said Mike Daves, area vice president and general manger for Comcast of Savannah.
Each year AWOL provides high quality arts and technology training programs to at-risk youth living in Chatham County. The organization serves more than 100 youth annually from some of Savannah’s high poverty and high crime areas during what researchers term, the “critical hours” which are after school and at night when youth are most likely to get into trouble.
With an annual operating budget of just over $200k, the organization provides a significant economic boon to the community by preventing and deterring juvenile crime. According to a 2009 study conducted by the State of Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, the annual cost to detain one youth in secure detention for just one year was a whopping $63,105 dollars!
Since 2004, AWOL has provided services to nearly 500 youth with 85% of those enrolled and retained going on to complete high school and more importantly, stay out of trouble. This constitutes a cost savings of over 2.1 million dollars for our communities tax payers.
“This grant awards shows just how important local support from the City of Savannah, the Chatham County Commission and our local United Way is in terms of helping AWOL to grow it’s capacity and ability to win the support of local and national foundations thus leveraging the support of our local tax payers. Without local support, their can be no national support “, Davena Jordan, executive director, AWOL Inc.
“Creativity and expression are truly what will launch us as a society into the next century. It is so important that even during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression that companies like Comcast, local governments and community members ban together in support of our greatest natural resources, youth. We are humbled and thankful to have the support of Comcast,” Tony Jordan, founder, AWOL, Inc.
AWOL is proudly supported by The City of Savannah, The Chatham County Commission, United Way of the Coastal Empire and Cricket Wireless.