To inspire and motivate at-risk youth to become empowered to create
and live an impactful life by opposing poverty through
mentoring, education, Global Leadership and personal development.
WHO WE ARE
Ruby’s Foster Village was founded in 2014 in Burlington County, New Jersey by Novelette Bowen, a mom and foster mom who understands the effects of abuse and dysfunction. It is her mother's experiences as a child and Novelette's own experiences as a survivor of domestic violence that bring her first hand knowledge of how these negative environments effect children. It also brings to Novelette her knowledge of their resilience, ability to change their mind set, and achieve their goals.
We fulfill our mission by providing educational services, life coaching, mentoring, opportunities for socio-emotional development, and other collaborative initiatives through community partnerships to advance stability, educational achievement, productivity, and financial independence.
To inspire and motivate at-risk youth to become empowered to create and live an impactful life by opposing poverty through mentoring, education, Global Leadership and personal development.
We envision a world where:
At-risk youth to learn to dismiss their limiting beliefs, know that they are bigger than their circumstances, renew their mindset, and strive to their fullest potential.
Each youth to become inspired and motivated to activate the shift needed to play big, unleash their inner power, and step into their individual greatness.
To increase the high school graduation rate of foster youth;
To increase the college graduation rate of emancipated foster youth;
To reduce or even obliterate the number of former foster youth who are homeless;
To abolish the number of emancipated foster youth who turn to a life of crime, prostitution, or addiction due to hopelessness and lack of resources.
To provide access to educational support and mentoring for all at-risk foster children and emancipated youth, regardless of ethnicity, economic status, or country of origin.
To create programs and services for high school foster teens designed that will instill confidence, support academic achievement, and reduce truancy, school absences, failing grades, and drop out rates;
To support graduating foster teens to overcome personal fears and institutional barriers to college entry by providing programs and services designed to educate these students about college life and expectations, including organizing college visits and providing resources that reduce stress and promote learning; and
To educate adult professionals at the high school and college level as to the unique challenges of foster youth with the intent of fostering compassion and promoting understanding to support foster youth to achieve high school and college graduation.
To support vocational training to help achieve educational goals.
"I am looking for like-minded, passionate gladiators who will join me to support, inspire, motivate, and empower at-risk youth in foster care and emancipated foster youth. Together we can help them unlock a future free from homelessness, unemployment, recidivism, and sexual exploitation, especially for those homeless youth who recycle back into a life of abuse, who largely go unnoticed and are lacking the life skills needed to rise from poverty and economically sustain themselves."
Novelette has dedicated her life to helping youth in need to have a chance for a better life. She has over 30 years of experience in social work, as a foster parent for at-risk youth, a case manager for people with mental illness, and working directly with individuals with developmental disabilities in residential settings. Novelette served as a chapter leader for the Foster Parents’ Treatment Homes Association. Novelette has the experience and expertise to provide leadership to RFV. She holds a Master’s Degree in Human Services from Lincoln University (PA).
Ruby’s Foster Village, Inc., a non-profit organization, for the children and youth who need her most. She named the organization after her mother in honor of Ruby’s enduring hope in spite of an early life of heartache and struggle.
NOVELETTE'S inspiration: RUBY
I want to share with you the story of a little girl named Ruby who God has chosen to be my mother, She motivated and inspired me to be who I am and who I am still becoming.
Ruby was never sent to school a day in her life; instead, she was turned into maid who worked 24 hours per day caring for a family of seven. After doing her morning chores -- including making breakfast, getting her cousins' clothes ready for school, and seeing them off to school -- she was sent to work other people's farms in the community as a day laborer, without any compensation. Which, unfortunately, resulted in Ruby not learning how to read or write her name -- not even being able to recognize her name if she saw it written anywhere!
Although she didn’t get an education, Ruby wholeheartedly believes in the power of having an education and what it can do for you. As the prolific Malcolm X once said, “Education is the passport to the future; tomorrow belongs to people who prepare for it today.” Ruby was ahead of her time.
Ruby shared her story -- good and bad -- with her children. Through her story and her actions, I realized that she had the power to do more, which she has demonstrated to me many times, besides instilling in me the belief in and power of having an education. Ruby also instilled in me the power of unlimited possibilities and the opportunity we all have to reshape the trajectory of our lives, regardless of our circumstances.
She was a determined, loving, and dedicated mother to me and my siblings. She was committed to empowering us to achieve our educational goals. And she was determined to give us the educational opportunities that she never had.
Looking back at my life as a youth, I understand that Ruby was way ahead of her time and she was fully aware that education would be the vehicle I needed to transform my life. Through her unwavering love and support, I was able to attained a Master’s Degree in Human Services and enjoyed a successful, 30-year career in social services.
One of the greatest gifts that I have been able to give my mom is teaching her to spell, write, and recognize her name. Her seeing me walk across the stage to accept my degree was an unforgettable experience for both of us. I could feel her energy and how amazingly proud she was of herself and my accomplishments. Afterward I had that degree in my hand, I looked into the crowd at the expression of joy on my mother's face, as we both thought, "We did it!"
All of those encounters have transformed me into a servant-leader who believes in limitless possibilities and opportunities for transformation and change.
Thank you, mom.