“I want to be a social worker”
It is not uncommon to hear this or a variation thereof from youth who have been in foster care. Inspired by the help they received or the help they wished they had received, these young people want to be a part of improving the system. However, becoming a social worker or other human services professional is not simple. It requires, at least, a bachelor’s degree, and that bachelor’s degree not only comes with 4 years of classes but at least one in-person internship, as well.
This may seem doable for the stereotypical college student, but youth in foster care are far from the standard. Many are unable to attend college right out of high school, returning years later when they may already have full-time jobs, families and other responsibilities. Those who are able to transition straight from high school to college are still likely to be paying, if not for their education, for everything else - rent, utilities, food, etc. This not only makes a demanding course load harder but also makes a 16 hour/week internship nearly impossible to pull off without help.
At the R.J. Leonard Foundation we are privileged to work with many young people who want to give back - who dream of working in social work, criminal justice, psychology and more. Help us make those dreams a reality by becoming a part of the RJLF family. Learn more about how you can donate or volunteer here.