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Trials to Triumph: Shamonte Knight’s Journey to Graduation

By September 26, 2023February 29th, 2024No Comments

Shamonte Knight is a graduate of Wellroot’s Independent Living Program (ILP). ILP is the second phase of Wellroot’s supportive service that helps young adults transition toward independence when they age out of foster care. Many residents start in the Transitional Living Program (TLP) at 18, receiving foundational support and assistance, and then transition to ILP as they complete program milestones. Residents in ILP work towards completing their full transition out of care by the age of 21 with the keys to financial success, housing stability, and job security.

In a world where the transition to adulthood can often feel overwhelming, the state of Georgia has provided a solution. The Fostering Success tax credit allows Georgia taxpayers to redirect their taxes to organizations that help prevent poverty and homelessness for youth transitioning out of the foster care system. Tax donations help to fund programs like TLP/ILP, offering guidance and support to young adults.

Shamonte Knight’s journey to graduation is a story of resilience, a beacon of hope, and highlights the transformative power of support.

From Macon High School to Full-Ride Scholarship: Knowledge Is Power

As a child, Shamonte’s journey took him from Virginia to Macon, Georgia, where he initially stayed with a family friend but ultimately ended up without support. While living in a group home, Shamonte shared his memories of an annual end-of-year pool party to celebrate the residents who were heading off to college.

“I wanted to be at that pool party! Each year, there were only two or three kids from the group home that made it to college. I was determined I was going to be one of those kids,” shared Shamonte. Despite life’s challenges, Shamonte made school a priority and graduated high school with an impressive 3.8 GPA.

His dedication to his studies earned him a full-ride scholarship to Texas Southern University (TSU). At TSU, Shamonte excelled academically and in extracurriculars, becoming first-chair trumpet player and dance committee captain in his freshman year. However, despite initial success, the 2020 coronavirus pandemic’s impact on universities across the country ultimately forced Shamonte back to Georgia.

Navigating Challenges with Determination

With in-person classes and extracurriculars on hold indefinitely due to the pandemic, Shamonte decided to transfer to Georgia State University. Shamonte was referred to Wellroot’s Transitional Living Program through Georgia’s Department of Family & Children Services (DFCS) for additional assistance. However, DFCS’s recent cuts to education funding led to his housing instability ahead of the school semester. Without DFCS funding for on-campus housing, Shamonte was forced to live in his car until Wellroot stepped in with a solution.

Wellroot’s TLP/ILP Program Manager, Donita Green-Noel, worked with Shamonte to secure a housing voucher through Wellroot’s partnership with the Housing Authority. With the guidance of his Life Coach, Antilius Green, Shamonte learned how to complete housing voucher applications for the future. He also learned the importance of keeping up with annual health and wellness checks like seeing the dentist and appointments that many young adults don’t think to prioritize without a reminder from a parent or caring adult.

Dreams and Challenges: A Glimpse into Shamonte’s Determination

When you speak to Shamonte, you quickly learn he is teeming with goals he cannot wait to accomplish. Extending beyond his academic pursuits, he aspires to be on TV or create a TV show. He plans to revolutionize the UI/UX industry, hinting at original ideas he cannot yet reveal. He also plans to make a mark in Atlanta’s real estate scene as soon as he graduates.

“Shamonte has never given up when faced with obstacles. He is very independent, smart, and respectful of others. His resiliency inspires me and those around him! The sky is the limit for Shamonte,” shares Antilius as he remembers Shamonte’s growth.

Life presented its obstacles, but Shamonte’s determination prevailed. He credits Wellroot with opening his eyes to the responsibilities of adulthood, teaching him how to save money, and nurturing his growth and independence.

Fostering Success at Wellroot Family Services

Shamonte’s journey underscores the transformative impact of the Wellroot Family Services community, resources, and programs. The unwavering support of Donita and Antilius empowered Shamonte to overcome challenges to achieve his dreams one milestone at a time. To support Wellroot is to provide the tools necessary for young people to thrive against all odds.

The Fostering Success tax credit helps young adults conquer challenges and unlock their potential. Learn more about how you can be a part of someone’s transformative journey and be a preventative measure in ending homelessness in Atlanta.

You can redirect your Georgia tax dollars to support young adults like Shamonte, 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.


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, an ILP graduate, for his dedication to achieving his degree in banking, and he graduated from Morehouse in May 2022. Read more.

On September 30, 2021, two months after transitioning from our program, Kiara bought her first HOME! Read more.

As a first-generation American, Grace entered TLP unsure of her future. That’s when Wellroot’s team wrapped around her and became a second family for Grace. Read more.

Maria didn’t let her circumstances become an excuse. Determined to graduate on time, with perseverance and hard work, she graduated high school. Read more.