I was 21 when the state let me into the world to be a “Responsible Adult”.This at first glance was the best thing that could happen to me seeing how I been in foster care/ child care basically all my life.When i signed my release, I felt like a free man, “finally I can take control of my life” I thought … only one problem .. i realized in all that time, meetings, and extra push to get me into the world on
my own.. I wasn’t prepared to be on my own, all the excitement of being on my own quickly faded as I found myself not knowing how to make a resume to get a job or the basics of a job interview and as more time passed I realized I wasn’t ready to be on my own not because I couldn’t , but as the simple fact I wasn’t prepared by my caseworker to be able to live a full life after leaving the program because I lacked basic employment skills.This is the reality of most of us state/childcare kids.
We need programs to help people like me to be able to transition into a open world not packed up and just pushed out the door. I believe we need more programs to teach these kids/young adults to be more ready for job interview, and that’s how i feel Ms.Novelette program would be very helpful and successful in preparing them for the world .. the real world, where so many of us are thrown out of our comfort zone before we are equipped mentally and physically to handle the world in a successful way the transition program would have been great for me as I only has a GED and no clue what a resume was.. Ms.Novelette program would be just what young adults my age from the system need… the services this program plans to offer.. to help us read, write all the basic things that might be normal for others not in this system, to me this is long over due and only wish there was some type of transition programs when i was leaving the system, it would’ve helped me a lot, giving me more confidence and readiness to be not just a successful product of the system.. but a successful person period.I support 110% what Ms .Novelette is trying to do to help young men like me and others in life and this will start a trend in the system where in my 21 years in it , It’s rare that a person wants to help young men in this position ,she really genuinely cares about what happened to us when your job is done.. rarely does it get past “doing the required” and really wanna see you be a productive citizen.We need more programs like this to show the kids and the world that we aren’t just took care of and thrown out with no sense of direction of where to go.
24 years old
21 years in foster care.
“Novelette mission and life passion is to do nothing less than confront and transform the life prospects for the very highest risk segment of foster youth. These are the young people who age out of foster care without a permanent home, often still struggling with cognitive, behavioral, life skills and financial challenges, who all too frequently become the daunting statistics of unemployed, homeless, incarcerated, and victims of life on the streets.
They call her “Mom”. I’ve seen this over and over during the four years I have been Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for one of the youth for whom she is foster mom. She has a deep understanding of the challenges they face and the insight, experience, and training to engender their trust, build hope and accountability, and help them to focus in an individualized way on the skills they each need to first survive, then persevere and finally to empower them in pursuing their life goals. I see them listen when she encourages them to “keep it real” and they accept and respond to her empathetic but tough love because they know she is all about their best interests and how they can achieve them. She makes a profound difference in their lives.
The need is acute. Many of these youth have known little else than than a lifetime in the child welfare system which has fed and clothed them but left huge gaps in their abilities to deal with the prospect of independence. Then that day comes when they “age out” and they literally stand on a street corner holding their life possessions in a shopping bag and with no place to go. This is the elephant in the room that so many of us associated with foster care deeply struggle with. Ms. Bowen’s vision meets this head on and offers an innovative and realistic way to dramatically improve the probability that each youth in her care will continue their life journey to successful independence.”
Jim Schnell, CASA Volunteer
Starting life for me after leaving the foster care program was like being a newborn child. Life was so different from what I thought it was going to be like when i sign myself out.Things became so much more harder and I wasn’t prepared for any of it. If it wasn’t for my mother Ms.Novelette, I don’t know where I would be right now.She has been my best support system since things started to fall apart in my life. I think she is the perfect person to run a program to help young adult succeed in life and not have to struggle as i did because the system failed me. But with her help i have learned so much in life that i wish i could of took advantage of if she was there all along.Ms.N has what it takes because she has the love, the heart, and the passion to take this farther than she could imagine. Growing up not having that support and love from some one is one of the reason why the system fails me and more than half the young adults before we age out because all we really need is that motherly love and support to learn the tools and skills you need to have to support yourself when you do age out of the system.
Quajuan M. Redit
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