Hello, my name is Mikaeli Blake, and I am here to tell you about the incredible things Foster Your Future has done for me and the many other foster youths who have aged out of the system. As you are probably aware, foster youth are exceptionally vulnerable in the “adult” world because we do not have anywhere to turn. It can be scary. Imagine coming from a system that has complete control of your life and dictates everything you do; to being thrown into the world and being told “good luck.” The odds are stacked against us from the beginning. According to the National Foster Youth Institute, “less than 3% of foster youth graduate from a 4-year college” (https://nfyi.org/issues/education/). That statistic is staggering, and something needs to change.
My story with Ginny began last year. I was in a tough place, having to pay rent in two places and move simultaneously. I had no job because of the pandemic, and unemployment was a measly $240 a week. I could not afford to pay rent at two places, pay overs, and cover my other bills. I reached out to Ginny, desperate for any help I could get. She welcomed me with open arms and immediately offered a solution. Foster Your Future helped me in my time of need, as they do with many others. What I love about Foster Your Future is they offer solutions. Their task-based approach really helps foster youth take the first, crucial steps into adulthood. Do you need a license? No problem, they will provide you with a mentor who will teach you to drive or help you apply and take the test. Do you have dreams of a career but don’t know where to start? No problem, your mentor can supply you with information, tools, and contacts about how to get started. Does school seem out of reach? Foster Your Future will encourage you and help you enroll in school, register for classes, and even potentially cover some of the costs. This is the kind of support and resources foster youth needs. It is only through the generosity of organizations like Foster Your Future that we are able to succeed. It is because of organizations like these that I can proudly say that I am not a statistic, but actually, a 4.0 GPA student at Arizona State University studying Conservation Biology & Ecology, and I plan to contribute so much to this society.