Paul joined AFFCF’s Keys to Success program in January 2023. At the time, the self-motivated 16-year-old was living at a ranch in Yavapai County and attending the local high school. To speed up his high school career, he wanted to leave the traditional school model and enroll in an online high school. His career development specialist (CDS) helped him explore the different options available to him and helped him determine what makes the most sense for him.

When he was moved to a new placement in another city in Yavapai County, Paul’s education plans hit a bump in the road: his new placement wouldn’t allow him to do an online program. Not distracted by this setback, he and his CDS worked with his new school to take traditional classes. They also arranged for Paul to take one faster-paced class that would allow him to earn extra credits.

On the Road to Success

Paul struggled in the beginning, but this young man’s work ethic helped him power through and persevere. In fact, he ended the 2022-23 school year with high B’s and A’s. He even got those extra credits toward his graduation!

Through the career exploration process with his CDS, Paul discovered that he had a gift with computers and computer technology. In fact, he had already built a computer on his own…just for the fun of it. Within that scope, he found a desire for a career in information technology.

With a career goal in mind, Paul’s next step in Keys to Success was employment development. This go-getter young man told his employment development specialist (EDS) that he wanted to look for a job immediately. With some prior work experience already under his belt, he was familiar with the job search process and jump-started his search quickly.

Achieving Success

Paul told his EDS about a golf club just behind his placement. He wanted to get a job there because he’d be able to walk to work, eliminating the transportation barrier. Together, he and his EDS went to the golf course and asked to speak with the hiring manager.

The hiring manager asked Paul to fill out an application as soon as possible and he would interview Paul. Within a short time, Paul was hired as a host/busser in the golf club’s restaurant. He recently achieved his 60-day employment goal and he’s already been promoted and being trained as a front-line cook.

Building on Success

With a job secured, Paul opened both a checking and savings account to help him manage his earnings and successfully completed financial literacy training. Using his newly learned financial skills, he’s saving for a car and will get soon get his driver’s license.

Before enrolling in the Keys to Success program, Paul already had goals for himself and his future. He just needed help connecting all the dots. Now he’s on his way to a successful life outside of foster care and has the support in place to help navigate him on his journey.

Supporting Success

No one journey through foster care is the same. What is the same is the need for support when a young person ages out of foster care and transitions to adulthood. Without supportive services, these young people run a higher risk of experiencing homelessness, incarceration, employment challenges and a lack of education.

AFFCF’s Keys to Success program meets youth aging out of care where they are and tailors services based on the individual youth’s present needs and future plans. Through intensive career, education and employment development services, coupled with life skills training, Keys to Success helps youth create a roadmap to achieve their life goals.

You can help provide the critical support that young people aging out of care need by simply making a tax credit donation to AFFCF. Through the Foster Care Tax Credit, your donation can earn you a dollar-for-dollar credit on your Arizona state taxes, up to $1,051 for couples and $526 for individuals. Give today!

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