Foster youth face daunting challenges once they hit their 18th birthday. Many lack the skills needed to start employment, gaining the experience necessary for a successful career. PRIDE Industries’ Youth Services program provides support, mentorship, and necessary work success items (such as clothing and bus passes) to help foster youth lead an independent adult life.
Kat, a former foster youth, was facing employment challenges when she was referred to PRIDE in the summer of 2020. With help from a job coach, Kat created a path to achieving her dreams.
Foster Youth Employment Services
As a young adult who has recently transitioned from the foster care system, Kat had to overcome many obstacles without family support or guidance.
“I recently had no job and had to figure out how to sign up for school, find internet access, and pay my bills,” she said. “I felt like I was stuck in a hard place with nowhere to turn”.
That changed when she was referred to PRIDE Industries in July 2020 and paired with Lana, a Job Developer in the foster youth employment program. Lana helped Kat with her job search, including preparing her for interviews and teaching her how to make a positive first impression. They also worked together to narrow down the kinds of jobs that would suit Kat’s interests. Not long after, Kat landed a job as a home health aide.
“Helping people is my passion,” said Kat. “I just finished my first month working as a home health aide, and I like my job! I enjoy cooking, cleaning, and assisting my client, and it’s a wonderful feeling to have her greet me every time I arrive. My job means a lot to me; I enjoy helping others live their best lives. The skills I am learning now will help me serve my future clients as a social worker.”
As she continues to thrive in her new job, Kat plans to attend college.
Eventually, she plans to pursue her dream of starting a nonprofit for foster youth that focuses on counseling and support. “I also want to travel the world and become a homeowner,” she said. “My journey has just begun!”