Day of the Dozer is an event hosted by the Great Plains LIFE Foundation to support the "Stay 4" Project®. Children will receive the experience of a lifetime, an opportunity to ride on heavy construction and farming equipment! The kids will be in the driver's seat and actually drive bulldozers, excavators, and other heavy equipment with a professional operator at their side. The children will be in a safe environment in which a professional operator will assist the youth in the process of driving, steering, and maneuvering the equipment within a controlled area.
By allowing the children to access the construction equipment, the youth will get to experience first hand what jobs such as construction entail. The layers of skillful handling hidden within the daily tasks of construction workers will unfold before children. The access to the foreign gadgets will allow kids to traverse a world rarely seen by pedestrians.
A multitude of other activities will be present during the daylong event. Food will be available throughout the day as well as individual locations where children can freely play such as, but not limited to, the world's largest sandbox with several toys that are relevant to the construction equipment.
Kids will also have the wonderful chance of experiencing the inner workings of several other vehicles usually designed for specific jobs, and to dive into the driver seat of firetrucks, 18-wheelers, military trucks, farm equipment and more!
Some 90 high school students are a part of the Stay 4 program annually. Many of those students are locked in situations involving poverty, abuse, homelessness, and many grow up in family environments that include parents who themselves have dropped out, are involved in ongoing crime, frequently serve jail time, and suffer from drug and alcohol addictions.
An astonishing number of the high school students involved in the "Stay 4" program are the primary provider in the family and work 30-40 hours per week while attending school. These complications can withhold students from graduating, continuing their education, and becoming self-sustaining individuals in our communities.
The foundation's "Stay 4" project was devised to counteract the drop out crisis that plagued the students within unfortunate situations. Selected by the high school districts at the beginning of their junior year, students are required to satisfy criteria focusing on academics, community service, and extracurricular activities during their junior and senior year.
"Stay 4" makes students aware of educational opportunities through several field trips to area colleges and links students with advisers who support them in finding the required financial aid and scholarships for college. This distinct program plays a vital role in communicating an unmet necessity and helps aid students through their crucial first year which can dictate long term success or failure.
More than 550 students have been a part of the "Stay 4" Project and 97% of them have graduated from high school; most are the first in their families to do so, and nearly all are first generation college students.
More than half of these students have continued their education, been a part of their University's Honors Programs, and have received both graduate and undergraduate degrees from 35+ colleges.
Proceeds will benefit the "Stay 4" Project®, a local initiative designed to address the high school dropout crisis, and help low income students that demonstrate the ability to succeed, yet are at risk for dropping out.