New Year, New Beginnings!
Many see the new year as a fresh start. Often, we start making new plans and new resolutions. For Anika Steed, a graduate of the Wellroot Family Services’ Independent Living Program (ILP), the new year is a new beginning.
In November, we shared the wonderful news that Anika was pursuing her Master of Social Work (MSW) at Troy University and interning at Wellroot as part of her education program. As we celebrate the new year, we are thrilled to share that Anika completed her studies at Troy and is now the proud recipient of an MSW degree!
“I am so thankful for the opportunity to complete my master’s degree in one year,” said Anika. “On graduation day, it was wonderful to have my friends and family there to support me.”
Anika has many supporters celebrating her graduation success. She joined the Methodist Children’s Home community in her teens as resident of The Methodist Home for Children and Youth. After graduating high school, Anika joined The Methodist Home Transitional Living Program lead by Mr. Sherard Whipple and started college at Clark Atlanta University. It was during her time at Clark Atlanta that Anika joined Wellroot.
“Mr. Whipple and his team provided guidance through college and a great support system, but I didn’t have a support network in Atlanta,” said Anika. “I was familiar with Wellroot. So, after graduating from the TLP program, I contacted Wellroot to be a part of ILP. Also, I began working with my life coach, Donita Green-Noel.”
With schooling and internships behind her, Anika is looking ahead to the future.
“My goal for 2023 is to get my MSW license by June and pursue a career working with children,” said Anika. “Through my internships and current job, I have worked with all age groups, infant to geriatric. However, my heart is with helping children like me who entered the foster care system at a young age.”
We thank God for Anika’s grit and determination and for the wonderful staff and donors that supported Anika on her journey. If you would like to learn more about how you can support young adults like Anika, please visit www.wellroot.org/our-programs. Check out Our Stories to read more about the resilient youth at Wellroot.
Did you know you can now redirect your Georgia tax dollars to support young adults like Anika, who are transitioning from foster care? In 2022, Georgia legislatures passed House Bill 424, known as the “Fostering Success Act.” The “Fostering Success Act” establishes a tax credit for contributions to qualified Foster Child Support Organizations like Wellroot that can be used towards education, mentoring, and wraparound services for young adults transitioning out of foster care. Visit Wellroot.org/tax-credit to learn more or call our Development team at 404-327-5877. When you participate, you receive a 100 percent tax credit to your state income tax bill for your contribution. For financial advice about tax deductions, please consult a qualified professional advisor.
About Our Residential Programs
Transitional and Independent Living Programs
We shepherd young adults as they transition from foster care to adulthood. Our programs provide 24-hour support as well as community-based housing to each youth. Wellroot offers ongoing life skills development, including financial literacy, tutoring, personal development, career development and education about nutrition and health. As part of both programs, we guide residents through the process of earning their high school diploma or GED and offer assistance entering college or trade school. Learn more.
Family Housing Program
Families accepted into our program are serious about leveraging the support we offer and gaining the skills needed to ensure their long-term sustainability upon completion of our program. We provide housing and financial assistance to these families, removing the barrier of homelessness by helping them move toward self-sufficiency. We offer courses in parenting, financial management, career coaching, and personal development among others, as well as help with continuing education. Upon graduation from our program, families have at least $1,000 in savings and steady employment. Learn more.