Caitlin Deppeler Becomes Our New LeadeR
“I’m thrilled to introduce myself to the RJLF family!” Caitlin has served the mission of the Foundation during the past ten years in multiple capacities: participation in the planning of our first two fundraisers, four years on our Board, and most recently as our Board Chair. It is my privilege to transition into the role of Executive Director, while Jo Leonard, our Founder and a close friend, will be serving in a new role as Chief Visionary Officer.
Caitlin brings a unique understanding and familiarity of our Fellows’ perspectives - “I previously supervised Valley Youth House’s emergency shelter in Bucks County, which serves youth who are experiencing homelessness, are at-risk of becoming homeless, or are involved with the child welfare system. ... I am humbled to have been chosen to lead the organization into the future."
Read Caitlin's complete letter of introduction.
Britany* Dreamed of a Road-Trip With Her SoN
“It was just like watching an endless movie … From Elvis to cowboys, native Americans and dinosaurs. Aliens and waterfalls. Ghost towns and the city that never sleeps. Canyons and mountains and horizons that never end. I still am in shock.”
Our Fellow, Britany, and her son had “the experience of a lifetime … driving on what is considered America’s most beautiful highway:” Utah’s Scenic Byway 12 (also known as “A Journey Through Time”). Through our Dare to Dream program, Britany worked closely with her Mentor and the RJLF team to plan her four-day camping trip and achieve her dream to share moments of awe with her son. ”As a parent we know we can’t give our children the world, but we can show them it, and to be granted the opportunity to show him this part of our world was the biggest blessing.”
See photos of Britany’s Dare to Dream experience.
Aging Out at 18 Makes it Nearly Impossible to Launch
When youth in foster care turn 18 they become eligible to transition out of foster care. Often these youth are completely unprepared for the daily realities of adulthood, and little to no support system or network to lean back on. When these young adults fail to launch, they cost the tax payer $300,000, annually.
However, our transitioning Fellows benefit directly from RJLF's Friends Launching Futures sustaining support fund. Read our breakdown of Friends Launching Futures support and hear one of our current “Friends,” Delana, explain why consistent support is a commitment you can feel good about.
Heart for Change: A Celebration!
In the News: Foster Care, Transitioning Out, and Mentorship
*Names and identifying information has been changed to protect the confidentiality and safety of Fellows involved in the R.J. Leonard Foundation's programming.