Beyond Emancipation

“Being a foster kid is a full-time job,” explains 18-year old Jennifer. “Sometimes I just had to give up trying to do other things.” Two years ago she couldn’t imagine finishing high school, let alone going to college.

In addition to meetings with caseworkers, lawyers and advocates, this “full-time job” included juggling the instability of foster care – over 6 moves and 4 schools in 4 years.

When Jennifer first connected with B:E, she recalls, “I didn’t think there was anything I wanted to do with my life. I was reckless.” B:E staff member Razon would tell Jennifer, “You can do it. You can create your own future. You can change your life in order to help others.”

At B:E we know that every young person has the power to create the life of their choosing. Our work is to support them to see that in themselves.

With B:E’s backing, Jennifer set goals and has spent the last few years courageously working toward them. At B:E Jennifer got help with homework, attended college prep and employment workshops and even toured colleges.

“Coming here showed me that there is more,” Jennifer says. “B:E really helped me come out of my shell.”

Jennifer is poised to graduate high school in a few weeks. This fall she starts college to earn her teaching credential and become a high school history teacher.

“I want to be a history teacher because I think that a lot of the history we learn in school is not the actual history of my people, of people of color,” she says. “It’s important to learn from people who look like you and have had similar experiences.”

Jennifer has developed the skills, confidence and work ethic to move from surviving to thriving. But her journey is not over. B:E will continue to support Jennifer to dream big and fulfill her dreams.