Helping You Grow Successfully, Inc. (HUGS) is a vital and innovative 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that exists to organize a positive, enriching environment which will contribute to an improved quality of life for our youth and their families. Established in 2015, the organization’s projects, implemented by a well-trained staff, emphasize character development and change disadvantaged individuals from the inside out. Supporting the development of self-confidence, healthful living, good judgment, and character, HUGS, INC provides many struggling young people with a thorough foundation for future success.
The mission of HUGS, Inc. is to help college-bound, at-risk and foster youth transition into adulthood successfully by implementing a holistic approach as well as providing a safe place to access community resources.
Individual empowerment, self-determination, and accountability are strong components of HUGS, Inc. initiated by Executive Director and Founder Larolyn N. Young. The organization was conceived and organized to address the financial, mental, and physical needs of the disadvantaged population in the community, to counteract failure, and to assist in the successful transition to productive life in a positive environment with long lasting self-sufficiency.
HUGS, Inc. will provide youth and young adults in the community with various initiatives that will focus on social skills, life skills, conflict resolution, and character building. Our goal is to provide the best possible programs to ensure their future success.
Across the United States, a recognizable need has developed for the provision of outreach services for individuals and families. While the obstacles that residents face can be seen as immeasurable, some of the most pressing issues facing individuals today are the outbreaks of unemployment, homelessness, and juvenile delinquency. This is especially evident in youth aging out of formal institutions. Each year, the statistics become more disheartening. Experts have repeatedly shown that children aging out of the foster care system or juvenile detention system experience significant challenges.
- More than one in five will become homeless
- 58 percent will graduate high school by the age of 19 (compared to 87 percent of peers not aging out of an institution)
- 71 percent of the young women will be pregnant by the age of 21
- One out of five former foster care mothers will find their children placed in foster care
- At age 26, only half are employed
- One in Four will become involved in the juvenile system within two years after leaving foster care.
It is apparent that there is a need for programs that seek to reverse these disturbing trends. Numerous studies have demonstrated that programs similar to the ones offered by HUGS, Inc. make a real difference for children, families and the community. The Afterschool Alliance cites that 6.5 million individuals who are benefiting from mentorship and other life skill programs offer powerful evidence of their value. However, millions of other individuals have no programs available to them. Right now, more than 14 million teenagers and young adults spend time unsupervised by a parent or other adult. Studies show that regular participation in high-quality and encouraging programs is linked to significant gains in standardized test scores, as well as improved work habits, social skills and overall behavior.”  The Harvard Family Research Project asserts that the individual development outcomes associated with structured encouraging programs are:
- Decreased behavioral problems
- Improved social and communication skills
- Improved relationships with others including peers, teachers and parents
- Increased community involvement and broadened world view
- Increased self-confidence and self-esteem
Research presents clear and encouraging evidence that caring relationships between individuals and professional adults can be created and supported by mentoring programs, and can yield a wide range of tangible benefits. National and state statistics show that individuals who are mentored are more likely to improve in school and in their relationships with family and peers, and less likely to skip school or use illegal drugs or alcohol. Students who are successful in school are also less likely to drop out, abuse drugs, or become involved in criminal activity. The following statistics demonstrate the success of young adults who are mentored. Researchers found that after 18 months of being involved in a mentorship program, protégés were:
- 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
- 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
- 52% less likely to skip school
- 37% less likely to skip a class
- More confident of their performance in schoolwork
- One-third less likely to hit someone
- Getting along better with their families
HUGS, Inc. envisions addressing the above needs via the provision of high-quality services to these individuals and their loved ones. The organization seeks to reverse the negative trends by offering cost-effective, life enhancing opportunities to those in need.