Creating a Bright Future for our Bulldogs

Creating a Bright Future for our Bulldogs
Posted on 12/02/2020
December 2, 2020 - An air mattress was purchased for a student who wasn’t quite sure where she would stay each night and needed a comfortable place to sleep. A new pair of shoes was delivered to an elementary student to replace his worn-out pair. The Missouri weather took a turn to winter temps, and a few students needed a coat for warmth. Due to excellent teacher leadership, a student who once struggled to complete graduation credits walked across the stage with, not one, but two program certifications from Hart Career Center, finishing with a cosmetology certificate and her CNA license. 

There are countless other stories, like these, that take place right here in our Mexico community. Bright Futures has a wonderful opportunity to support all of these children through local donations, while collaborating with school leadership and organizations.

Before students can learn and be successful, their physical and emotional needs must be met. Bright Futures strives to help our Bulldogs achieve success by matching needs with resources through partnerships between the schools and the community. The goals are to build relationships, provide for individual needs, and ensure every child has the tools they need to be successful students who, in turn, become productive and self-sustaining citizens, loving parents, responsible neighbors, and outstanding employees.

The program is sustained by donations of time and monies from individuals, businesses, and faith-based partners. Additionally, specific needs, such as shoes or coats, are met by building-level site councils or posted on Facebook for community assistance. 

One of the great successes of Bright Futures Mexico is the lunch buddy program, facilitated through the Mexico 59 counseling offices. An adult volunteer is assigned to a student and is encouraged to eat lunch with the student at least once a month. Nearly 10% of our district's students are paired with a lunch buddy. Due to COVID-19 and the school district not accepting visitors at this time, lunch buddies have been sending postcards to students and the students are responding, writing to share life updates with their adult pals to stay connected. 

There are many needs for students in the Mexico area, and, if anything, these needs have increased since the inaugural year in 2016. Bright Futures Mexico participates in fundraisers and annual requests, such as underwear and sock drives, shoe purchases, suicide awareness, and other resources as needed. Faith-based partners have met specific needs related to COVID-19, like providing earbuds for students in middle and high school to help with online distance learning. 

Bright Futures Mexico partnerships include faith-based, social/human services, businesses, parents, and volunteers who are asked to give of their "time, talent, and treasure" to help children. Bright Futures Site Councils at each school include representatives from each of the partnership areas and meet regularly with school personnel to assess and develop plans to meet the needs of the school and its students. The Bright Futures Advisory Board oversees and works with the site councils to determine current needs in Mexico. 

Bright Futures USA started in Joplin, Missouri a decade ago and exists today in 65 communities across the country. Bright Futures Mexico began in 2016 and is touted by the founder as one of the strongest programs in the system due to the local community support, volunteer leadership, and encouragement from school administrators.

Please follow our Facebook page at “Bright Futures Mexico” to answer the call for needs for students in our area. If you or your business or your organization would like to support Bright Futures Mexico with a donation to support our Bulldogs, please contact us at brightfutures@mexico.k12.mo.us or call 581-3773 ext 2409.