Throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Olseth Family Foundation has supported several strategic library initiatives, including Homework Help and Teen Tech Squad.
We are proud to ensure Homework Help, a free afterschool tutoring program is able to continue offering an array of virtual and individual one-to-one tutoring for students experiencing academic challenges due to distance learning. In spite of the ever-changing pandemic protocols, lead tutors work with students and parents to create a schedule that meets their needs – from daily check-ins, to weekly sessions, or simply help on request.
In addition, throughout the pandemic we have continued with a long-term commitment to the Teen Tech Squad and Best Buy Teen Tech Center. These two programs provide access to cutting edge technology to young people, ages 13 to 19, but more importantly the participants find companionship, mentorship, and opportunities for learning and self-expression. COVID-19 has not deterred engagement, rather it has allowed pivoting to new areas, such as the creation of social media videos, virtual online STEM workshops and socially-distanced outdoor courses which explored the physics of successful kite and bridge building, building juice pouch rockets or lessons in chemistry, fluid dynamics and math.
The Olseth Family Foundation (OFF) is honored to sponsor the spacious, light-filled Play Room in the Portland Homeless Family Solution (PHFS) Family Village Campus. This recently opened facility is Oregon’s only homeless shelter incorporating innovative trauma-informed design and architecture, which is proven to help people heal from the crisis and trauma of homelessness and lead to better outcomes, like shorter shelter stays and greater success moving into long-term stable housing.
The priority for OFF is to keep the playroom stocked with fun and educational toys, games, crafts and activities, as 59% of the PHFS residents are kids, with an average age of 9 years old.
To learn more about PHFS and what constitutes trauma-informed design and architecture, click on the link below: http://www.pdxhfs.org
Every bird of prey tells an important environmental story – as top predators in the ecosystem they shed light on the health and wellbeing of the world around them. This is why The Olseth Family Foundation supports the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center and their mission, to ensure the health of raptors and the world we share.
Since 1974, The Raptor Center has been a world leader in raptor medicine, developing innovative clinical techniques and setting the standard for rehabilitation, guaranteeing injured and ill raptors recover and return to the wild flying healthy and free.
Education is the core of the Raptor Center’s mission. Through the lens of these inspiring birds, the Raptor Center reaches hundreds of thousands of people in the public, primarily students and youth. The unique educational programming addresses critical environmental challenges and motivates people to action by inspiring and encouraging the next generations of nature lovers, scientists, and conservation advocates. In addition, bird lovers from around the world have been trained in the Center’s breakthrough research and expertise, so ill or injured raptors across the globe can benefit.
The Olseth Family Foundation is proud to continue support for The Advocates for Human Rights, who work tirelessly to change systems and conditions that cause human rights abuses. The Advocates fight injustice and improve laws and lives throughout the world while representing individual victims of human rights violations.
Specifically, the foundation funds the Women’s Human Rights Program which focuses on ending violence and discrimination against women and girls by improving laws and policies, both in the United States and globally.
Locally, the Advocates work with women and girls who are victims of violence in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest through training, advocacy, and education. Through WATCH, a court observation project, which strives to expand impact through court monitoring and reporting on violence against women and girls in Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington Counties. Since the start of the pandemic, the Advocates have used the WATCH infrastructure to conduct real-time fact finding on the impact of COVID-19 on victims of violence in the courts in six counties. These findings were instrumental in leading to a clarification in the governor’s emergency executive order that the ban on evictions does not extend to orders for protection in domestic violence cases.
The Advocates is also a leader in Minnesota’s anti-trafficking efforts. Our 2008 Sex Trafficking Needs Assessment for the State of Minnesota spurred significant legislative changes including increases in penalties for people convicted of sex trafficking crimes. In 2010, The Advocates for Human Rights led the effort to enact Minnesota’s Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth Act and were co-authors of the Safe Harbor for All Strategic Planning Process Report. The Advocates provided key contributions to the statewide Criminal Sexual Conduct Statutory Reform Working Group. The group produced a report with recommended revisions to the sexual assault statutory framework for the legislature. Among many things, it recommended: clarifying the criminal statutes that address sexually victimizing intoxicated persons; a new statute criminalizing sexual extortion – blackmailing people into unwanted sexual encounters via threats to, for example, their housing, employment, immigration, or confidential sexual-orientation status, and; a precisely-targeted prohibition against sexual conduct by educators with students.
The Advocates also provide free legal assistance to human trafficking victims and immigrant victims of gender-based violence in the Upper Midwest, deliver training and resources for systems professionals involved in identifying and combating trafficking in persons, and continue our assessment of Minnesota’s response to sex trafficking in the state.
For more information: https://www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org