Jeremiah’s Promise addresses the urgent need of emancipating youth who age out of foster care or are soon to age out. We specifically target aspiring young men and women, ages 17 to 24, who desire a college education or a certificate program but who, otherwise, could fail at achieving higher education without intensive mentoring, career and academic undergirding. They have the ability. They lack an adequate support team. We provide them with one.
At the young age of emancipation, youth who have suffered unspeakable abuse and loss are forced into an expensive, intimidating, demanding world while lacking the skill set, maturity, and economic sufficiency to find an apartment and pay their bills, much less to be a fully contributing member of society.
As a result of years of disappointment, negative labeling and childhood trauma, former foster youth risk frightening consequences as they face even bleaker futures without adequate support systems in place. This is often the reason for a lack of education (40 to 50% fail to complete high school) among foster youth. Sadly, female foster youth are three times more likely to have a child by the age of 19 than non-foster youth. This population has been deprived of the loving attention of nurturing adults during their young lives. These young people are often raised in group homes with many other youth facing the same painful struggles. Well before emancipation, these youth need caring, committed adults to support and encourage them toward meaningful life and career goals.
Without such support, they are vulnerable to further instability and possible harm. The constant change in environment and instability compounds the desperate psychological stress of the youth. Without someone who may be counted among their long-term network of support, these youth will likely fail at accomplishing what they were meant to accomplish in life. They often believe they are underachievers, which is far from what we have witnessed among the youth served at Jeremiah’s Promise.
One of our former youth believed she was destined to be supported by the government because she was "a psych case" in her words. With steady mentoring and coaching, she came to view herself as intelligent, resilient and competent. It was a long process, but she arrived and is now in her third year of college; has a part-time job to support her; has found stable housing; and retains the relationship of staff, her mentor, and former residents of Jeremiah’s Promise.
Jeremiah’s Promise comes along-side youth to serve as a catalyst for lifelong change through the implementation of a structured mentoring program, life skills workshops and academic and career guidance. We want these youth to know they are loved, valued and belong.
"Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted before the world." (James 1:27 NKJV) .