Our CEO Susan's birthday is June 17th and she has chosen to donate it to a very deserving aged-out foster youth, Lisa.
Lisa is 22 years old and entered foster care at nine. She aged out 18. During those nine years, she lived in close to 45 homes. Her moves often came as a surprise—her case worker would show up at school to inform her that she was being relocated. Lisa's experiences in the foster care system taught her that she couldn’t trust anyone else. She felt that people fostered for the wrong reasons instead of doing it to support a child. As a result, she learned to be independent, feeling like the only person who could take care of Lisa was Lisa. Through all of this, however, she never lost hope.
At 18, Lisa was homeless. Help exists for kids who age out, but Lisa struggled to make sense of it. She didn’t know where to go or who to talk to. Although she was provided with a packet of info, it wasn’t enough to help her fully understand the resources available to support her through her transition into adulthood. Lisa had no one to help her with basics like opening a bank account, getting her license, or learning to grocery shop. She was lost in the shuffle of kids with needs similar to her own.
Near her 19th birthday, Lisa received her GED and immediately enrolled at Austin Community College where she took classes for three years. After the birth of her son Tazio she stopped taking classes because she wasn’t able to balance full-time work, school, and being a young single mom. The cost of childcare is prohibitive to Lisa’s return to ACC.
Lisa and her son currently live with a family member, but they’re struggling. She is grateful to have a roof over her head because she knows it’s more than many in her situation have, but it’s starting to take its toll on her. Every stressful moment at home takes away from her son because it makes Lisa focus on something other than being the best mom possible to Tazio. She works full time at the Austin airport, but childcare is expensive and she can’t save for her own apartment, go to school, and have Tazio in a safe and nurturing childcare program with her current job.
Lisa became involved with Austin Angels in 2017 when she met Susan through a former foster sister. Lisa describes her relationship with Susan as phenomenal and says that she doesn’t know where she’d be without Austin Angels. When Lisa was pregnant with Tazio, Austin Angels hosted a baby shower for her, which helped with practical needs. Lisa says the way Austin Angels has impacted her the most is by empowering her and by helping her build herself up to be better, to not just have dreams but to turn those dreams into reality. They help her want to live a life of action.
When she returns to school, Lisa wants to pursue real estate. Her mentor through Austin Angels’ Dare to Dream program is a real estate agent and Lisa has been inspired by her mentor’s passion. Lisa hopes to pursue real estate because it fits well with her personality. She is outgoing, friendly, and has good customer service skills. She can see herself enjoying real estate.
In spite of her struggles, Lisa remains uncommonly positive. She is working hard to provide a better life for her son. Although her dream is to have stability, what she wants most is to be the best mom to Tazio. She wants him to know that he can be whatever he dreams. Her biggest hope is to cultivate a life where her son lacks nothing. The advice she would give to other kids growing up in the system is simple but profound: never give up on yourself, know the feelings you feel are temporary, and know that the little things you do ultimately add up. Lisa is ready to make her dreams a reality.
Susan has a huge heart for aged-out foster youth and would like to help Lisa cover her living expenses so that she can continue her education and create a brighter future for herself, as well as her son. In honor of Susan's birthday, would you consider helping us set Lisa up for success by donating toward the following expenses? In honor of Susan's birthday, would you consider helping us set this former foster youth up for success by donating toward the following expenses?
1 bedroom - $1,029/month
Real estate classes (6 required; average plus post-education fees):
Totals needed (Rent, Utilities, Daycare, and School):
1 bed: $2,220/month; $27,940/year