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Making Dreams of College a Reality

By March 30, 2023February 29th, 2024No Comments

Do you remember your senior year? Do you have fond memories of Friday night football games and the Spring Formal or memories of cramming at the last minute for that physics exam you knew you had to pass because high school graduation was just around the corner? Many of us have warm memories of hanging out with our friends and maybe some late-night studying sprinkled in to ensure we kept up with our schoolwork. However, for teens in foster care, high school can be a struggle or even completely out of reach.

According to the National Foster Youth Institute, only 50% of children in foster care will finish high school. Why? Lack of stability and predictability, something that many children in foster care don’t have. Instability at home makes them far more likely to change schools during the school year, to be in special education classes, and less likely to receive passing grades than their general population counterparts.

It is with this understanding of the significant hurdles teens in foster care face that we recognize and celebrate the phenomenal achievements of the young adults in our Transitional Living Program (TLP). This month we celebrate Kenya and Jada for successfully completing their high school requirements, receiving their diplomas, and registering for continued education at Georgia Piedmont Technical College.

“When Jada joined our program, she was struggling with believing she was not smart or good enough for school. Today, after graduating from Stone Mountain High School, I witnessed Jada going from believing she wasn’t good enough to knowing ‘I am more than enough!’” said Semaj’ White, director of Residential Programs.

Kenya and Jada have bright futures ahead. Kenya plans to start the Cosmetology program in May while Jada plans to pursue a Licensed Practical Nursing program in August.

“I appreciate the program at Wellroot. It helped me focus on my goals more. In a group home, you are around people 24/7. You don’t have any privacy or time to think. Here, I have my own room, and I can think about what I want to accomplish without distractions,” said Kenya.

Wellroot’s Transitional Living Program provides 24-hour support in community-based housing. Life coaches guide residents through the process of earning their high school diploma or GED and advise the youth as they enter college or trade school.

“I am proud of both young ladies. Kenya has made great progress in her short time at Wellroot. Jada has been persistent and didn’t give up even when things didn’t look promising. I believe they will do well in advancing their education and gaining the skillset to excel in their chosen career field,” said their life coach.

At Wellroot, we work to ensure that teens transitioning from foster care without the safety net of a familial safety net are given the opportunity to finish school, dream big dreams, and create happy memories. When they look back on their challenges, they can say, “This isn’t the end of my story. It’s only the beginning!”

Did you know the new Fostering Success Tax Credit allows Georgia taxpayers a dollar-for-dollar 2023 tax credit for donations made to Wellroot’s support programs for young adults? If you would like to learn more about how your 2023 Georgia tax payment can be redirected to support youth transitioning from foster care, visit www.Wellroot.org/tax-credit or call our Development team at 404-327-5877. Funds are limited, so apply today!

Names and photos have been changed for privacy protection.


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


Our Residents’ Stories

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must, but take a step.” This summer, we have 3 special graduations to celebrate! Read more.

We are so proud of Raekwon, ILP graduate, for his dedication to achieving his degree in banking, and graduated from Morehouse May 2022. Read more.

When we first met Kanisha, she was starting cosmetology school while also working at a hair salon. It wasn’t long before she graduated from cosmetology school and secured her own salon. We are now celebrating another big success. Read more.

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’ ILP, the new year is a new beginning. Read more.