Joseph* spent most of his early life in and out of different group homes. After graduating from high school, his goal was to find employment and pay his bills, determined to be independent. He did not think he would be capable of success in college, believing he was not “school material.”
While working as a contract maintenance worker, Joseph was referred to RJLF. With assistance from his RJLF Mentor, he secured full time employment in an office as an accountant specialist, and began taking classes at a community college. “My Mentor is awesome. It’s nice to know you always have someone that will be there for you. Having his listening ear and encouragement has been so great.”
We are proud to share that Joseph will soon have his associate's degree, and will be pursuing a career in social work. Joseph also changed jobs recently, in order to do something more related to his interests and goals. He is now working as a Peer Mentor, as part of a family support team. As a Peer Mentor, Joseph, is working directly with young people and mentoring them while they work on their individual and family goals. RJLF is providing college and career navigation support.
Joseph is a hard working, amazing young man with a goal to pay it forward. While working toward his education and career goals, Joseph volunteers at RJLF events, always thinking of how he can help others as he feels others have helped him. “RJLF has impacted my life in a very positive way. It has helped me realize that I can be as successful as I want through hard work. Also it has inspired me to give back due to how much they give.”
* Names and identifying information have been changed to protect the confidentiality and safety of Fellows involved in the R.J. Leonard Foundation's programming.