“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” -Anonymous
I recently had the opportunity to talk to a couple of young ladies who were once in foster care, had aged out, and are now thriving in life. They are graduating college and are self-sufficient, shattering the statistics of those who have aged out of foster care. Our conversations continually pointed out how the community had been their family, their support system. These positive testimonies of youth who have aged out and transitioned into a healthy life motivate me very much to continue to build JEMfriends into a larger community of individuals with a heart to care for youth. A significant way we can be the community that our youth need is to create opportunities for them. We are very excited about some new opportunities that we hope to provide for our youth this year.
We are introducing some programs this year to help support our youth in their individual places of need. One opportunity JEMfriends is providing this year is for the youth to participate in city league team sports. In fact, volleyball season is just around the corner! We are also hoping to provide a Paid Internship Program for our youth beginning this April. We will accomplish this by partnering with local businesses who are willing to hire and train our youth in skills uniquely suited to each of their dreams. If you have a business, and you would be willing to develop an internship program, please contact us! Finally, we are beginning a program called the Car Matching Fund. This program is very needed by the youth because they face great difficulty in finding safe and consistent transportation. Many of our youth do not have vehicles, and some have not even had the opportunity to get a driver’s license. A few of our youth do have vehicles, but they do not have ones that work well. For these youth, the discouragement of a car that continually breaks down is often overwhelming. The purpose of the Car Matching Fund is to match up to $2,000 for a youth’s vehicle purchase. This will allow our youth to budget their own money for a car, but also get themselves a vehicle that will be safe and reliable. Please let us know if you would like to be involved in any of these opportunities.
We have an incredible privilege to be the community that provides the opportunities that our youth need to progress and mature, while introducing them to Jesus, who is the One that can meet their needs all their lives. Please consider partnering with us to create opportunities that will create change for our youth.
Liberty Barrett, Executive Director