Children with limited material and social capital, languishing in personal and cultural isolation, not noticed at the margins of their social and school settings; children who have nearly lost hope but retain a spark for life often hidden behind a sad or reticent affect; children not yet in need of therapeutic intervention, but instead desperately in need of opportunity to freely develop their individual human potential. The children that we accept are described in the following two categories:
CATEGORY 1: Children who are in significant danger of collapsing into rage, violence, drugs, despair, personal failure, and/or resignation during their future teen years. However, these are children who have not fully succumbed to financial and experiential deprivation. We see in these children a spark of life (however faint), a yearning to develop, and a deep desire to live their lives fully. They have not yet broken contract with culture. These are children who are in desperate need of someone to step into their lives and we want them in our program.
CATEGORY 2: Children whose potential is being significantly squandered as a result of very limited material and social capital, who are in danger of collapse during their vulnerable teen years, but who seem to have a some chance of finding a place in the world without Kismet. (Such judgments are extremely difficult and the process of arriving at these conclusions is very subtle.) These are children who in spite of their very limited social and material capital, are nourished to a small degree by positive resources such as one supportive role model, access to an occasional short trip to the country, or an adult who takes them fishing once a month. This group is seriously under-served. They will certainly experience a huge boost from the experience that Kismet offers and we want them in our program.
Kismet seeks to admit an equal number of boys and girls. It is a very high priority to admit students from a broad range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds thus; Kismet students have an extraordinary opportunity to develop friendships with, and learn from, children whose experience is very different from their own.