Help Arden Shore Youth Exchange Get to Germany!

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Million Mile Secrets reader Dora is the CEO of Arden Shore Child and Family Services which provides counseling, foster care, truancy prevention, family preservation counseling, and also operates a group home for “at risk” boys.

Help Arden Shore Youth Exchange Get to Germany

Arden Shore Youth Exchange Germany Program

Arden Shore Youth Exchange

Arden Shore started a youth exchange program last year with a German organization in Hamburg, the Internationaler Jugendverband Europa-Lateinamerika to give Latino youth, who are at-risk of dropping out of school, an inter-cultural and education opportunity, develop leadership skills, and become productive community members.

Help Arden Shore Youth Exchange Get to Germany

Arden Shore Youth Exchange Germany Program Participants

The youth were chosen based on improved school attendance and academic progress.

How you Can Help

Arden Shore needs 10 plane tickets or airline miles to get 8 students and 2 staff members from Chicago to Germany for the summer of 2014.

I’ll donate either 1 plane ticket or $1,200 to help Arden Shore and I know that awesome Million Mile Secrets readers will also help out!

Tax Deduction

Arden Shore is a 501(c)3 organization so your check or cash donation is tax deductible.

You can help Arden Shores by using your miles to book a ticket for Arden Shore (email [email protected]),  or by donating money online.  

You can’t claim a deduction if you use your miles to book a ticket to Germany, but can claim a deduction on your taxes for a cash donation.

That’s because you can’t deduct donated miles that you’ve earned from flying or via a credit card sign-up bonus.  But you might be able to donate the cost of miles that you bought IF you can prove to the IRS that the donated miles were purchased (but buying miles usually doesn’t make sense).  I’m not a tax advisor, so you should confirm with your accountant and the IRS.

I’m donating 1 ticket and hope Million Mile Secrets readers can also help!

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8 responses to “Help Arden Shore Youth Exchange Get to Germany!

  1. My daughter just went on a three week Foreign Student Exchange group with the Rotary Club this past summer. Based on her account, the Germans are highly meticulous and demanding because they have a much higher living standard and expectations than Americans. It is a great mismatch and may not be a pleasant cultural exchange to send “at risk” children to Germany. She often received snipe remarks for being a typical uni-lingual American. But she set herself apart from other American kids for her knowledge, behavior and conduct. Better choices of countries for cultural exchange are Spain, Portugal or Italy. France is next on the list to avoid after Germany.

  2. they couldnt have choose one of most expensive place in Europe. even if all the planes tickets are donated, the daily expense is not a small sum. since this a latin group, they could travel to south or central americas to improve and connect with their heritage and culture for these kids, the budget would have been much smaller than a euopean adventures. I dont discourage intercultural exchanges but its shouldnt be done all on donated funds, especially with these kids background. normal people cant afford a european trip, dont you think its outragious for these kids to go there ?

  3. Our family lived in Germany for almost 5 years, and I think it all depends on the groups and people with whom the youth program students interact. Many Germans showed exceptional helpfulness to us. Of course, you find cranky people anywhere…but we look back mainly with good memories of our time in Deutschland.

    Kudos to Million Miles for passing on this info so we’re aware of how we can contribute to the lives of these Latino youth!

  4. I’m going to say something that might be unpopular, but I would have preferred a pitch for a group that wasn’t limited racially.

    Can you imagine if someone had asked for funds for underprivileged white kids?

  5. Hello, I just wanted to thank Daraius Dubash for the exposure to many readers and potential funders.

    I’ve worked at Arden Shore for nearly 11 years, and I was one of the two adults that accompanied the teens last year to Germany. This is the first type of program that we have ever attempted – and it was a great success.

    Just to provide a little more background, I wanted to say that we were reached by the German government agencies regarding the idea of a first-ever “youth” exchange between countries. They set the parameters for the most part, since we had never done anything like this before. There are two primary organizations in Hamburg that are experienced in these exchanges, and so they provided us with all of the details. When they hosted us last year, they covered all expenses while in Germany. The only money that we had to raise was the air fare.

    As mentioned above, the German organizations set the parameters regarding the target group, and reached out to us as our organization serves the Latino population (approximately 70% of all of our clients), due to where we are located. We selected our youth based on youth and families that we had worked with previously, immediately prior to the exchange, so we knew all of the youth fairly well.

    The youth come from working class families, parents who have sacrificed to try to give their children what they were unable to obtain – an education. However, our youth must battle the temptations to engage in negative behaviors, thusly the descriptor “at risk” is used. Some of the previously selected youth struggled in school. Some of them excelled. One of the youth is on the Honor Roll – straight A’s in her freshman year in high school. She will likely succeed as long as she keeps up the hard work, despite coming from a working class family.

    One of the main reasons to send these selected youth to Germany last year, was to show them that the world is at their reach, but they have to reach to attain it. Studying and working hard was emphasized throughout the exchange, as they met numerous important people both here and in Germany. They heard the stories of people of similar backgrounds who are now successful. We view this as an investment to create productive members of society – ones that will “rub off” on their peers and hopefully serve as roles models and mentors themselves.

    Since the first exchange ended, we have remained engaged with the youth and have had them come to our events to share their stories and what this experience has meant to them. If not for this program, most if not all of them, would never have had this valuable experience. They key is to have it at their age – when they can be motivated to graduate from high school, go to college, and hopefully not stop at a Bachelor’s Degree.

    They will serve as mentors to a new group, and perhaps as leaders – as we are now looking to start a second Youth Exchange.

    I know that this has been lengthy enough already, so I will stop now, but if anyone has any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  6. Carlos, thanks for the update and the information. Sounds like a great program, and I agree that reaching for and accomplishing goals is a great tool in education.


  7. What an excellent adventure for children who have magnificent adults to show them that anything is possible and to give them unlimited amounts of hope!

    Hats off to Carlos, Arden Shore, Germany, Daraius and Emily for helping the world stay a better place.

    We have four children and money is tight, but I will give what I can and a little more!

  8. Have you guys thought about launching a contest at to find the cheapest flight there? I’m sure you could get cheaper tickets there then anywhere else online…