Bridging the gap for homeless youth and aging out foster youth to get jobs and meet career goals is what Foster Your Future is all about. How can you be homeless or leave your Foster Home with the shirt on your back, a bus ticket and some food and expect to find a stable job or know how to apply for FAFSA? Basic supports are not in place to make this transition. Stories here are true, names changed, to protect the youth.
Chris was put into a Foster Group Home at age 16. He was in Juvenile Detention for violent behavior. This was his wake up call. Chris then decided with the help of one of his caseworkers that he could and did complete his GED while in Juvenile Detention. Chris had never worked until he joined Foster Your Future. Chris obtained his credentials to start work and attend the Community College and plans to get a business degree. He also has earned his driver's license and is an excellent, safe driver. Good going Chris!
Jeff was put into foster care at 4 years old. He was adopted. Due to difficulties and financial concerns his adopted mom told him she could no longer support him. He was homeless for 6 months prior to entering Foster Your Future. He explained that he could depend on a nearby donut shops dumpster to keep him from going hungry all the time. He was tired, dirty and 18 years old. Jeff received his credentials to work and is attending an alternative High School to get his Diploma and then plans on enrolling in the Community College. You are changing your future Jeff!
John is a 19 year old high school graduate. His mother has been homeless and John has had to fend for himself most of his life. He was on the H.S. football team and wants to be the best Auto Mechanic and own his own shop someday. He has not received his support for over 6 months since his caseworkers changed. He had to travel 40 miles to meet them in person as they are understaffed. Even when escorted to the meeting the case manager, overworked, forgets to have him sign the final paper and does not tell him until he calls 2 months later. With Foster Your Future he acquired his credential to get his first job, enrolled in a Community College. and accessed a grant to cover these costs. He has struggled with holding jobs, and Foster Your Future has worked with him on resume, interview skills and successful job behaviors to maintain a position. He has learned to drive and now owns his own car.
Carlos is an 18 year old youth who moved from the Foster Group home to a friend’s couch. He already has a 6 month old child that he visits and would like to be a good father. Carlos is very proud to have his GED. Now he wants to go to college. He is intimidated by the system and has no dependable adult to turn to with the knowledge or caring to help him make that transition. With Foster Your Future he has enrolled in a program, accessed a FAFSA grant and secured a job as a phone salesman for an auto glass business. With his earnings he is now able to start supplementing his rent and was asked to get a cashier’s check to give to the apartment. He asks his mentor, “How do I get a cashier’s check, I don’t know how, can you go with me?”
Leon’s father was in Prison when he entered Foster Your Future. Leon was very angry with the world and his family life. Leon was using drugs and had some time in drug rehab. He is an 18 year old youth that moved directly from Juvenile Detention to a Group Home and then joined the Foster Your Future program. He only had a 10th grade education, which greatly limited his access to college or many higher paying careers. He learned how to cut hair in Juvenile Detention and wants to become a barber. Foster Your Future identified the least expensive Barber program for him to attend, made the down payment, and purchased his uniforms. He purchased his own cutting supplies with his stipend and points proudly to his name tag, “Student Barber.” He was also able to get his High School Diploma through an Alternative High School which has opened many more opportunities for him.
Jordan is an 18 year old youth, had never worked, had no Social Security Card or Arizona Identification. ADHD is this youth’s second name. Jordan’s father is deceased and mother borders on homelessness. Jordan moved from the Group Foster Home to Foster Your Future, worked for the first time after getting all credentials in place and wants to learn to drive.
Aaron was a love child, born from a teenager and raised on and off by a family friend. He has severe dyslexia. He ended up in a Foster Group Home as a teenager. Aaron is one of the most friendly, cordial young men. He has great faith and never blames his God for any of his troubles. Aaron, after getting his SS card, Birth Cert learned to drive and is now attending the Community College. Excellent work Aaron!!!