For young adults who have aged out of foster care, the holidays are isolating . Imagine living in independent housing or a group home, wondering where you will be this time next year. There are no holiday traditions.
The R.J. Leonard Foundation invites you to support our Fellows this holiday season. Empower these bright young adults to succeed through scholarships and enrichment opportunities.
Featured Fellow: Joseph*
Joseph spent most of his early life in and out of different group homes. Despite graduating high school and being extremely independent, he did not think he would be capable of success in college. His main concern was to find employment and pay his bills.
When Joseph was referred to RJLF by the county, he was a contract maintenance worker. We were able to quickly match him with a Mentor who assisted him with his goal to secure full-time employment. He tells us he has learned a lot working in an office as an account specialist. “My Mentor…is awesome. Having his listening ear and encouragement has been so great.”
Now, Joseph is taking evening classes that he loves, and wants to pursue a job in social work. “The support I’ve received from [my Mentor] Tom and RJLF has been amazing.”
RJLF Joyfully Welcomes Two New Mentors
John is a retired Ernest & Young partner who currently participates in multiple not-for-profit activities. After hearing about RJLF through his parish, he was told about our need for a Mentor to our Fellow Jason.* “We are still learning about each other,” said John. “We are working to set meaningful and specific goals … I hope that whatever guidance I provide, that Jason finds [it] meaningful. I want to take whatever we discuss last week and move it forward.”
*Names changed to protect identity
As a teacher, Pam was already alarmed by the number of children she has seen enter foster care. Her husband was the Master of Ceremony for our recent fundraising event, Heart for Change . Pam was moved by our board member and Fellow Miles’s keynote speech . “[The] stories I heard of Fellows being positively impacted and their lives changed…I was completely moved by the whole event.” Pam is excited to build her relationship with our Fellow, Emily.* “They possess the power that determines their destiny.”
In the News: Foster Care, Aging Out, and Mentorship