The Village of Hope Turns Dreams Into Realities
Karen has worked hard to defy the odds that seem to hover over her life, family and home. She was determined to be the first person in her family to go to college, but was struggling with her high school classes. She lacked the guidance, motivation and support from her family that so many children receive during their adolescent years.
Fortunately, one of Karen's teachers recommended the Dreams Realized through Education and Mentoring (DREAM) program at Vista Maria. It was at her first DREAM session that Karen met Lisa, a DREAM mentor. Lisa tutored Karen and helped with her homework. They talked about normal teen issues like boys, friends, what Karen wanted to study when she went to college, and her future aspirations. Karen finally had the life support and motivation she needed to overcome the odds.
Karen is a shining example of how Vista Maria's Village of Hope programs are helping at-risk youth overcome barriers to their future success. When complete, the Village of Hope initiative will allow Vista Maria to expand essential programs and services to hundreds more at-risk children and families from our surrounding communities each year. Programs, like DREAM, provide youth with a foundation of support that carries them into adulthood. With essential programs and supportive services firmly in place, the cycle of poverty, that so many of our children are trapped in, will finally be broken.
Reunification - A Foster Care Success Story
"I am thankful to have my daughter back home and my family all together again," says Mary, referring to Ashley her seven-year-old daughter. Ashley entered foster care two years ago due to neglect in her biological home. Mom was struggling to meet the demands of having a daughter with mental health needs who required a lot of structure and support in order to be successful. While in foster care, she had difficulties with her behaviors and managing her feelings. Mary was very supportive of her daughter, came to see her often and worked hard to learn how to provide the care that Ashley would need when she returned home. Due to her behaviors, Ashley was moved several times while in foster care. Her mother was with her every step of the way.
"Facing the issues of having a child with mental health needs was tough, but I was determined to learn how to care for my daughter. I knew she was with people who would care for her, but I remained focused on my goal which was to bring Ashley home," adds Mary. With Mary's hard work and persistence, Ashley was able to return to her motherís care this year. Ashley is now home with her family, happily adjusted and doing well in school.
If you would more information about foster parenting, please contact our Foster Care Recruiter at 313-271-3050 ext. 137