Created in 2008, The Brightest Star, Inc. is an award winning charitable 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization focusing on building self-esteem and dreams to at-risk youths using social emotional learning as a platform foundation, to reduce and prevent self-destructive and risky behaviors (depression-shame, guilt, grief, drug abuse, alcoholic abuse, risk of suicide, low academic performance, high school dropout, bullying, violence, sexual acting out, delinquency, and anti-social). We encourage, inspire, empower and motivate mental health wellness, youth leadership development, educational success, life skills and most importantly social responsibility.
We are comprised of dedicated volunteers. Our vision is to improve the mental health wellness and educational success of children and teens thriving in America's Foster Care system. Hence, we operate through a wide variety of activities to cover different therapeutic formats to promote healing, self-esteem and dream building for these children.
This endeavor is very challenging. Therefore, our culminating experiences can take multiple forms and dimensions; such as providing a special field trip or celebrity visit for a single struggling minor, or for a larger group of children in need of inspiration, and motivation to enhance important life skills associated with goal setting and believing in the possibilities of being successful and productive citizens (youth leadership development). We aim to build dreams one child at a time if that needs to be the case. It begins with an action plan to heal broken hearts to believe in their success, and their greatness despite the difficult circumstances that make so many in our Foster Care system to not succeed academically, or as productive individuals in our communities.
Three mainstay anchors are taught collectively and operate throughout our workshops, activities, and events, building self worth, and responsibility for one’s actions as a way of life and living. Hence, as an ongoing process, we encourage our youth to cooperate, collaborate, work as a team and/or individually, to reduce aggressive, negative and inappropriate social (inter and intra) personal behaviors.
We are somewhat unique in that our approach, by operating with a “whatever it takes” attitude within each anchor, helping us to think out of the box to make an impact on changing young lives.
They are: Character Building, Skill Building and Dream Building
Within these mainstay anchors are a variety of lessons, tools and activities that meet our youths often times very high complex needs, towards discovering how beautiful they are. For example, in character buildings youths learn the importance of being trustworthy, respectful, caring and responsible for their actions. Compassion education is strongly stressed, along with gratitude, forgiveness and standing up for what is right even if you are standing alone. Being tolerate and accepting of others uniqueness, quirks and differences is highly discussed, along with displaying good manners and consideration for others feelings. We find peaceful ways for youths to deal with anger, insults and disagreements that hurt.
In skill building, our first and foremost activity is encouraging and practicing active listening. Communicating and enhancing one’s strengths and resiliency, developing positive commitments to drug-free lives, responsible decision-making, and positive coping strategies, expressing and dealing with feelings. Dreams begin to unfold, like magic with consistency as young ones begin to BELIEVE and IMAGINE that their life has VALUE. They begin to explore what drives them. Seeds are planted and goals begin to form roots. Dialogue begins about things they plan to do with their lives, or achieve in their lifetime.