The Hartwell Foundation


AMIkids - Making a Difference in the Lives of Young People

AMIkids is a nationally-recognized not-for-profit that offers a promising future to more than 5,000 kids each year through positive and motivating programs that inspire learning, leadership and personal growth. Founded in 1969, AMIkids provides residential, day treatment, alternative schools and family services programs for youth. The organization operates more than 40 programs in Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Through the AMIkids’ Personal Growth Model©, a comprehensive approach that combines education, counseling and behavior modification, students are empowered to make positive decisions that will ultimately shape their future. Since inception more than four decades ago, AMIkids has served more than 115,000 kids and their families.

The AMIkids Personal Growth Model has been recognized as an “evidence-based” model for improving the academic achievement of at-risk students and for reducing delinquent behavior.

AMIkids works with teens who face many challenges and are not being served successfully in public systems including education, juvenile justice, and child welfare. The organization partners with those systems to fill a gap in services to those kids who are at risk for failure. Students in AMIkids programs learn accountability, responsibility and the tools they need to redirect their lives. Community Service is also a key part of the programs, teaching kids the importance of giving back and helping them build bonds with the people in their local communities. The success rate of AMIkids across all of its programs averages 78 percent, which means nearly eight out of ten of the kids develop into crime-free, responsible, productive citizens. Upon graduation from AMIkids, the goal is to have every student either re-enroll in school, gain employment, or begin higher education course-work.

Tailoring educational and behavioral programs to the geographical strengths of each community (e.g., ocean, wilderness, mountains, and rivers), AMIkids seeks to help boys and girls grow personally by providing them exciting and challenging opportunities to help them meet their responsibilities, develop employable skills, and increase their self-confidence. Many times, these “Challenge Events” have been a determining factor for teens on the precipice of deciding their future. AMIkids’ Challenge Events reveal possibilities to kids and teach them that things they hadn’t dreamed possible are within reach. Events are held at venues like university campuses where kids are housed in dormitories, designed to allow teens the chance to experience college. Support from The Hartwell Foundation makes these events possible for hundreds of kids.

Funding for AMIkids is provided by state juvenile justice agencies and local school districts in areas where the organization operates. The programs are also enhanced by private sector donations, including financial support from The Hartwell Foundation.

Providing kids an opportunity to transform their lives and make a future

AMI kids enjoying recreation, South Carolina


  Keen observers sharing a moment with the kids