LAS VEGAS—Las Vegas Sands Corp. announced a new corporate citizenship commitment to provide homeless youth in the Las Vegas area increased educational resources and support during the summer school break, when they are at a higher risk to lose focus on their education.
Through donations to local service organizations Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY) and STREET Teens, LVS will help more homeless teens focus on their academic and professional futures by providing strengthened educational sites and assistance that are available year-round, including technology, personal support, and scholarships.
Summer months magnify the challenges homeless youth face because they don’t have the infrastructure of school as a safe haven or educational alternative. Locally, more than 9,000 students in the Clark County Unified School District were considered homeless or children in transition last year.
“Education provides a foundation for all youth to overcome challenges, realize their goals, and reach their highest potential,” said Ron Reese, senior vice president of global communications and corporate affairs at LVS. “It is essential to provide support, especially during the summer months, for our community’s most vulnerable youth to have access to educational resources as a path to a more secure future.”
Homeless youth have some of the highest school dropout rates. Approximately 75 percent of homeless youth nationally have dropped out or will drop out of school, according to the National Conference for State Legislatures.
To mitigate these trends in the summer months and beyond, LVS has established a $60,000 grant for NPHY, to fund computers, books, and other career resources for its drop-in center, which allow youth to focus on academics and plan their future with the help of NPHY’s case managers, especially during the summer months when they have few good choices of where they will spend their time. This grant also will support scholarships, pay school fees for some clients, and increase staffing to assist homeless youth.
“Young people often become homeless quickly and unexpectedly,” said Arash Gahfoori, executive director of NPHY. “While they are focusing on survival, they can very easily be distracted from their education. With this grant, NPHY will be better equipped to facilitate our clients’ educational goals, particularly in the summer months when there is a greater need.”
LVS’ also has established a $45,000 grant for STREET Teens, which will allow the organization to expand its infrastructure and provide more educational resources at its drop-in center, which is a critical resource for homeless teens during the summer months. “We are thankful that LVS’ commitment will allow us to help more youth and provide them with an educational destination this summer,” said Lisa Preston, executive director of STREET Teens. “Having more support available will help our youth stay committed to their educational goals.”
LVS’ focus on homelessness is part of the company’s corporate citizenship program, Sands Cares, in Las Vegas. Announced in April 2014, Sands Cares manifests the company’s core corporate social responsibility focus: supporting people in the company and the hospitality industry, making local communities where LVS operates a better place to live and reducing environmental impact on the planet. Sands Cares provides a cohesive approach to corporate and property-level giving and support in local communities where LVS operates to address the most pressing issues in its local communities and help make them better places to live.
Photo credit: Las Vegas Sands