Hendry/Glades Counties are some of the least populated counties in Florida, yet they have many children in the foster care system. While the two counties have many foster children, they do not have the resources to assist these foster families. Fostering Success looks to pick up the slack where others cannot.
The organization has made strides to boost outreach to Hendry/Glades County and now has a record 28 foster children from these counties in the Academic Mentoring Program. Fostering Success’ Academic Mentors have spent a Hendry/Glades County record of 1224.10 hours tutoring foster children. In the month of June alone, there were 226 hours of mentoring. This helps prevent foster children from the loss of academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer, also known as the summer slide. By preventing the summer slide, foster children enter the new school year retaining the information of the past year, while making the new year’s lessons easier.
The biggest way for foster children to break the cycle is by receiving an education. These hours spent in Hendry/Glades are extremely valuable at doing just that. Fostering Success provides mentors locally and virtually for many children in Hendry/Glades County.
One foster child who took that lesson to heart was Carly. Carly was born and raised in Hendry/Glades and entered the foster care system due to her parents’ financial struggles. When Carly first entered the system, she bounced around from home to home and lost valuable time at school. Eventually, she was reunited with her father, but things only got worse. Given her father’s financial struggles, he did not have the funding to support Carly. Carly could not sign up for enrichment opportunities and many nights were spent without proper meals.
Carly could have easily given up and let her situation get the best of her, but instead she decided she wanted to better herself. Carly quickly realized that in order to better herself, she had to get out of her home. Carly realized the best way to do that was to get accepted into college. For the next two years, Carly put her head down and worked as hard as she could on her education. Fostering Success set Carly up with an academic mentor to help guide her through classes and she saw a huge increase in her grades.
Today, Carly just graduated from high school and was recently in the Fostering Success office to work with Michelle on completing her FAFSA form. Carly will be attending college in the fall and is on her way to achieving her goal of getting out of her home and creating a better life for herself. Carly is one of many Hendry/Glades County foster children who know that there is a better life for themselves out there, but lack the support, whether that be financial or emotional, that is needed to create the life they want. Fostering Success is here to offer that support.