Life Has Options: Lazarus Naturals Supports SEI's Mission
Read Time: 3 minutes
As a company founded on the belief that CBD should be effective and accessible to all, we have always had a passion for connecting people with the resources they need most—regardless of financial circumstances. That’s what drives our brand promise of crafting CBD that’s Made to Work. Made for All.
We constantly look for ways to demonstrate what it means to use business as a power for good; never putting profits over purpose, people, or our planet. Recently, we had the privilege of connecting with an incredible non-profit—Self Enhancement, Inc (SEI). After learning about their mission it was clear that they, too, exist to provide access to what others need to achieve wellness in all aspects of their life.
For SEI, that means partnering with schools, families, and community organizations to help guide underserved youth to realize their full potential. The non-profit presents an array of programs—such as in-school, after-school, post-high school, summer, and parent involvement programs. SEI has teamed up with a range of businesses over the years—from local construction crews to Nike—to offer apprentice training and employment opportunities. SEI prides itself as an organization that truly supports youth wherever they need it most.
At the organization’s main campus in northeast Portland, students are given the opportunity to participate in boxing or basketball classes in addition to learning cooking, jewelry-making, hair-dressing, songwriting—even mixing music. Their after-school programs engage youth in their interests alongside tools to help them achieve more in the classroom such as tutoring, study hall, and college prep.
Established in 1981 by lifelong North Portland resident and community leader Tony Hopson, Sr., what started as a one-week summer basketball camp meant to provide a positive alternative for African American teens in the area soon flourished into a year-round program—providing academic support and beyond for both students and their families. SEI firmly believes that each child has a gift and that it’s our shared responsibility to help them find and celebrate that gift.
To speak to the impact this program has on people’s lives, it’s worth noting that 40% of its staff grew up as SEI students—coming full circle to give back to the program that helped shape who they are today. And while we’re mentioning percentages, an incredible 96% to 100% of students who go through the SEI program successfully graduate high school every year!
But perhaps the most powerful yet simple way to sum up the SEI mission lies in their three-word mantra: “Life Has Options.” By imbuing the youth with this understanding, as well as expanding learning opportunities, they have seen amazing results for over 40 years now. Their strength lies in their ability to meet the complex needs of the children and families they serve, including helping individuals overcome cultural, educational, and economic barriers. Something we at Lazarus Naturals could not be more proud to help support.
All the more reason why we wanted to go beyond simply donating $12,000 and connect with SEI firsthand to discuss their pivotal role in the local community. We sat down to chat with Anthony Deloney, who isn’t just Director of Development at SEI—but one of its many success stories. Watch our interview above for the full story.
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