The tragic outcomes facing our youth is a solvable problem.
It takes a network of supporters coming together to ensure that each child in foster care gets what they need in time, love, resources, and opportunities to reach their full potential. A small investment can change a life.
iFoster is empowering the country to take action and is building that network for each young person in care – ensuring they have what they need to succeed when they need it. Join Us! Be part of the iFoster Solution.
The iFoster Solution Works
Jasmine Finds Her Forever Family, Confidence and Her Path to Success!
The right investments at the right time:
In the fall of 2014, Sean, a 35 year old, single, freelance recording engineer in Los Angeles received a phone call from Child Protective Services that changed his life. He was informed that his 16 year old estranged sister, Jasmine, needed a place to live. He was asked if he would take her in or else she would enter foster care. Despite not having a relationship with her or having any knowledge of how to raise a teenager, Sean said yes. When the social worker dropped her off, she gave him iFoster’s card. and told him iFoster could help with any resources they might need.
When Sean took in Jasmine, she was receiving F’s in every single class, and had missed the entire 10th grade. She was also struggling with self-esteem issues and was not motivated. iFoster worked with Sean and Jasmine to address these issues, by enrolling Jasmine in online tutoring as well as providing her with a laptop, all for free. iFoster also got Jasmine a bus pass and enrolled her in a gymnastics program that she loved which helped with self -esteem issues. She managed to finish out her 11th grade with 5 B’s and 1 A – huge improvement. By 2015, Jasmine was on track to graduate high school and was applying for colleges. However, her self-esteem was still suffering. Jasmine did not like to smile because she was ashamed of her teeth. iFoster enrolled her in the Smiles Change Lives low-cost orthodontia program, and Jasmine was paired with an orthodontist that has not only improved her smile but her self -esteem as well.
iFoster also helped Sean, getting him legal representation to get the government kinship assistance he had been promised and to help him navigate the system. We connected him to kinship support groups so he could learn to be a parent. And we were there every step of the way, checking in, making sure that this new family had what it needed to be successful.
Jasmine is now in her 2nd year at Santa Monica College and doing very well academically. She is joining the iFoster Jobs Program to save up money for her own apartment. Jasmine has flourished these last 4 years with her brother and they have both credited her success to having received the resources and supports they needed through iFoster.
Krisha goes to Washington; becomes a Role Model for Other Youth and Congress
Krisha’s testimony to Congress on the iFoster Jobs Program:
Hello. my name is Krisha Ross, and I am a former foster youth. It is my pleasure to be here with you today to talk about the iFoster Jobs Program and how it has made a difference in my life. My path began October of 2015, when I was aging out of foster care. After joining the iFoster program, I was able to get a job that has given me financial stability and has taught me valuable customer service skills that will definitely help me in my goal to be a youth mentor.
Before I got hired at Ralphs, a large grocery store chain, I had the hardest time finding a job. I would sit in front of a computer screen for hours putting in applications. One day, my Education and Employment specialist at First Place for Youth, told me about iFoster. I jumped at the opportunity. Shortly after, I was sitting in a room with other foster youth just as eager to get a job as I was. I attended 4 Saturdays of preparation, feeling anxious and nervous until the big interview day.
When I arrived at Ralph’s corporate building with 13 other youth for an orientation, I felt so confident in myself. Through the program I participated in multiple mock interviews, had a great resume, had notes on how to keep my job, and how to dress. They even gave us professional suits for our interviews. I was ready.
I once lacked confidence in myself. After this program, I had new found confidence. I had grown. I walked in the door certain the job was mine. Before I knew it, I was starting my first day! The day after my interview I received a call from the Ralphs near where I was living. I was so excited, offering to go in the same day to do the things they needed to get me started. Everything happened so quickly.
I started off cleaning bathrooms, pushing carts, bagging groceries and walking customers to items. I was at the bottom of the food chain doing all the dirty work.
I began to live by what they call the 3 A’s (Acknowledge, Assist, Appreciate). It really paid off because between then and now, I’ve been promoted five times. I set a goal to become a manager, which I’ve recently achieved. I’m continuing my Ralph’s journey as a floral manager.
It feels great to be a hard working girl. My bosses brag about me as if I was a trophy they won. I even earned myself a nickname, OSAT queen, which means I score really high on our customer satisfaction surveys. I’m here today to tell you that I had this unique, supportive experience with iFoster and Ralphs that has made all the difference for me and my future.