Kinship Center Volunteer Committee Opens Doors

Helping foster youth to beat the odds and achieve life’s dreams…one by one.

For children who grow to adulthood in foster care, without the love and support of a permanent family, the odds of success are slim. Many will join the ranks of the chronically unemployed, the homeless, the high school dropouts. A recent study found that within five years of reaching age 18, 80% of young men had been arrested and 75% of young women were pregnant. Fewer that 6% had earned a college degree.

A Kinship Center volunteer committee helps foster youth beat those odds with a caring hand and some specific support through fundraising dollars. Here’s a letter from a former foster youth who received mentoring and help from this committee to complete high school and gain university admission to pursue an interest in marine science.

“Dear Cypress Committee, Let me give you a little update…

I just recently completed my sophomore year at the university! The last course was actually a month-long travel course to Palau. The Republic of Palau is basically in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and I had the opportunity to study the jungle/marine ecosystems and ecology of the islands. I also learned about the Palaun culture, economy, politics, clan systems, etc.

One of my favorite parts of the course though was all of the activities that we did. I kayaked between many jungle infested islands, snorkeled above some of the most colorful coral gardens that the world has to offer (and saw basically every color fish you can think of). I also went scuba diving through some massive underwater caverns, saw countless amounts of sharks, turtles, hige schools of barracudas (also giant barracudas which are fierce and scary!), napoleon wrasses, jellyfish and so much more!

I also loved hiking through the jungle and finding Japanese bunkers and caves that were used during the bloody battle of Peleliu in WWII! Every day was absolutely incredible! Learning, exploring, adventuring, and experiencing anything is honestly what I am made for!

This summer I will be working with a Group Home as a child counselor…I am very excited for this summer…i feel that with all of my experiences I am getting closer to finding my true goals in life.

Toward the end of the summer, as a university Outdoor Program Trip Leader, i will be leading a First Year Journey (FYJ) backpacking trip to Havasu for incoming freshmen before orientation week. I will also be an Orientation Mentor. I will basically plan and facilitate activities for incoming new students. I did this last year and am very excited to do it again.

This fall I am enrolled in four classes. I was elected co-president for the Students for Environmental Action (SEA) club on campus. I am very excited for next year…it will be challenging and will require that I truly focus and apply myself, but I know that I am capable of doing great.

Thank you so much…for everything!”

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