SEATTLE, WA (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Each year twenty thousand foster young adults in the US age out of the foster systems; most of them without a plan in place for the future. That leads to the unsettling fact that only fifty percent will graduate from high school. Thankfully, a non-profit based in Seattle Washington is working to change that trend for foster kids.
Maiya Rivas knows how important it is to give support to those around you. It was something she never had growing up in the foster care system. Rivas says, “My parents both passed away. From the time I was twelve I was expected to be, think, and act as an adult. Being in the foster care system, it felt like an uphill battle my whole childhood. Having somebody at Treehouse who was constant has been one of the most impactful things for me…”
Rivas is referring to the Washington based non-profit, Treehouse, which provides a lifeline to thousands of foster youth. Treehouse helps more than six thousand foster kids with academic mentorships, funding after school programs, and providing free supplies through its own retail store.
Like Rivas, Dulce Gonzalez-Rodriguez found an oasis at Treehouse. Rodriguez says, “We struggled a lot since we weren’t the best financially. Once we were connected with Treehouse, it was a lot easier. They were able to help us get clothes, it’s just a lot of support. I definitely would not have graduated high school on time.”
Thanks to Treehouse, both Gonzalez-Rodriguez and Rivas are now both eagerly looking toward the future. Treehouse operates its programs through grants, as well as donations from individual and major sponsors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. By 2027, Treehouse has set a goal that 90 percent of foster youth in Washington will graduate high school with a plan for the future.
Contributors to this news report include: Jennifer Winter, Producer; Joe Short, Videographer and Editor.
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