Building Bigger

Ready for Life, Inc.

provide support, resources and guidance former foster care youth need to transition to adulthood

Youth in foster care are one of the most exposed and underserved populations in the United States. Over 26,000 youth age out of the foster care system each year, with the expectation of self-sufficiency in skills that allow for success in independence. These young adults often transition into adulthood with little to no help from their families, communities, or government, and typically have no safety net to fall back on.

Ready for Life (RFL) was started to fill that void through social programs that develop and implement strategies to afford both emotional and tangible support for youth aging out of foster care. While RFL delivers programs and support services, more importantly we offer a safe and supportive environment that builds self-esteem, encourages more frequent and positive interactions with government agencies, host opportunities for social interactions (including with a mentor) and provide support in times of emergency when former foster care youth have nowhere else to go

RFL is unique as no one else does what we do. The RFL model works, due to the unique structure of hiring former foster care youth (and former clients) as case managers (called Youth Specialists), to provide peer support, information and encouragement. After nearly two years of cancelled fundraising functions and events, this funding opportunity is perfectly timed.

RFL would use the $25,000 for operations, specifically towards the salaries for the Youth Specialists positions. Our Youth Specialists understand, all too well, the client's situations and can empathize while helping them find a path forward towards success. The strength it takes to be a Youth Specialist at RFL is nothing short of Herculean. They cry, laugh, push and celebrate with their clients. Youth Specialist host birthday parties & baby showers, and sometimes, unfortunately attend funerals. When RFL uses the word family, it really means family, in the best of times and absolutely in the worst of times.

Every day, Ready for Life’s focus is crisis stabilization, lifeline & support services, and sharing life skills with the vulnerable population of young adults aging out of foster care. Every day, these young people struggle, often taking one step forward, only to find themselves taking another two steps back. Coming to RFL during times of personal crisis, these young people are looking for resources like food and clothing, stabilization in housing, employment opportunities and the support of caring adults (staff, mentors, partners, volunteers) who show them they matter.

RFL believes in this population of former foster care youth. We believe in second chances...and twentieth chances, and that all young people deserve the opportunity of successful adulthood!

Like Ready for Life, State Farm is unique in its caring and believing in people, and of course in second chances!

Back to winners