- Fritzie Saintoiry
When You Know Better, You Do Better
In Florida there are 27,000 youths who age out of foster care without the emotional and financial support necessary to succeed. This number has steadily risen over the past decade. Nearly 40% have been homeless or couch surfed, nearly 60% of young men had been convicted of a crime, and only 38% were employed. 50% of all youth who aged out were involved in substance abuse, and 17% of the females were pregnant.
Nearly 25% of youth aging out did not have a high school diploma or GED, and a mere 6% had completed a two or four-year college degree. Studies have shown that 70% of all youth in foster care have no desire to attend college.
Source: 2014 Fostering Connections
…And when you know better, do better.
As Maya Angelou put it, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” What happens to children in the system who aren’t ever exposed to “better”? Can they break the cycle of generational dysfunction if they are in a situation where the people, who are suppose to love and protect them the most, emotionally and physically abuse them? Too often some of our deepest personal problems are rooted in something we can’t control. Family traits are often passed down from parents to children and the cycle can continue for generations. While there is never an excuse for child abuse, it’s important to “know better” and understand that the parents who abuse their children were likely victims of child abuse themselves.
Our vision at Genesis Hopeful Haven is that each young person gets exposed to a new and better experience. It will be mandatory for them to participate in all the programs we provide in order to meet each individual’s needs. We will have extensive therapy, express what true love looks like, and introduce them to new skills they may not have known were within them. For example, learning to play instruments, being involved with sports teams, and art classes. We’ll teach yoga and kickboxing classes, gardening programs, and life-skills workshops. Learning topics like saving, cooking, cleaning, and different career options. We believe that knowledge is power, so each child will receive intensive one-on-one tutoring. In short, we’ll do everything possible to help these kids not only in their current situation but also in achieving successful futures! Let’s all serve as ambassadors for these homeless youth, fighting to improve their lives and to give them their best chance at a new beginning.