Youth Lift gives homeless kids a step up - FOX 13 News

Youth Lift gives homeless kids a step up

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Homeless students are the hardest population to keep in school. With a 40 percent dropout rate, it's a real challenge to change this troubling trend.

The organization "Youth Lift" is changing that by opening doors these kids never knew existed -- kids like 17-year-old Monica Myers and her 15-year-old brother Nathan. Their family is homeless.

"It's been tough going through life, you know, it's been tough yeah, it's been real tough, but all you got to do is go strong," Monica said.

Both parents are disabled and unemployed, and for the past three years, they have been in and out of shelters, motels, and temporary housing.

Changing so many schools makes it hard to keep up with classwork. That's where a group called "Youth Lift" comes in. It's a non-profit organization that helps homeless teens stay in school and succeed. Shea Standefer is the director of Youth Lift.

"They have a volunteer that meets with them once a week," Standefer said.

They also help with school supplies, educational trips, and other school fees.

"They don't get a goodnight's sleep, they don't go to the doctor's often, they just don't have the lifestyle that people who have grown up in a home take for granted," Shea said.

Monica has seen great improvement in her grades and wants to go into the Air Force.

"It was hard. I kept on getting like C's and probably below, but when a tutor came down to help me my grades started improving and up to an A, B," Monica said.

For Nathan, who was reading below grade level, it has been a lifesaver.

"They help me on my reading they help me on my math and teach me how to learn things more better," Nathan said.

Youth Lift's mission is to get kids back on track and let them know that someone cares.

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