At HALO, we are the foundation of a family for children without one. We believe family is forever. That means even when HALO youth move out of our residential program or move on from our Learning Centers, we are still a part of their lives. When it comes to aftercare, we support HALO Alumni however we can. Just like parents would. It isn't unusual to have a past HALO resident come by to do a load of laundry or stop in to talk about a financial decision they are considering. Often we have HALO Alumni visit for family night to grab a warm meal and to catch up. It is important to us that our kids know that they are our kids forever.
In 2020 we decided that we wanted HALO Alumni to have a platform to better connect with us and each other after leaving our program. We wanted to give them a voice to tell us what they need, ways we can better support them after their time at HALO is done, and things they wish we would have done differently when they lived in our residential program. We believe that voice and choice are essential, and who better to tell us what they need than our kids themselves. That is why we created the HALO Alumni Board.
The Alumni Board meets quarterly to discuss the HALO program, ways we can improve, what Alumni need from us currently, and ways to better prepare Alumni in the future. We consistently have an "In-Home Representative" that sits on the Alumni Board. The In-Home Representative is a current HALO resident who can voice concerns or ideas of residents living in the HALO home to the HALO Alumni. Together they work with HALO Staff to make HALO an even better home for years to come. Our Alumni Board is composed of strong, capable people who have defied the odds and who believe in helping those that follow them do the very same thing. They drive in-home programming and challenge us to think differently. It is incredible what positive changes come from opening the conversation to different perspectives.
During the first HALO Alumni Board meeting, one young lady mentioned how she was genuinely appreciative of the food basket and toiletry items left for each new resident on her first night at HALO. She told us that she wished she had clean pajamas to change into while she could wash her clothing for the first time in a while. We hadn't thought of that. After that meeting, new clean pajamas became a part of every new room set up. We are truly grateful for the inspirational ideas and heart of our Alumni Board and know they will continue to make HALO better for years to come.
Our Alumni Board makes a tangible difference in the lives of current HALO youth. You can too, as a HALO Volunteer. You can build relationships, grow trust, and show love to the kids who need it the most. Sign up to be part of our next Volunteer Orientation here: https://haloworldwide.org/volunteerathalo/