National Foster Care Month: Meet Drake
Earlier this month, I had the privilege of talking with Drake, a former resident of our Specialized Care program at the Ranch and our Transitional Living group home. And because May is National Foster Care month, I wanted to share his story as a youth in foster care with you. His journey and the challenges he faced as a foster youth echo what so many of our youth are experiencing today.
While Drake was in our Specialized Care program at the Ranch, he struggled to build trust with the adults around him and adjust to a more structured lifestyle. He says, “the Ranch was rough in the beginning – especially being at the age of 15, because at 15 you felt like you know everything and then you get there and it’s very structured.”
The Biggest Challenge
When I asked Drake about the biggest challenge he faced as a foster youth, he mentioned his time at the Ranch saying, “you have people there to help you. But there’s a difference between listening to someone and comprehending what they have to say. So listening to your therapist is different than comprehending it and applying it every single day. That’s a big change. That was really hard.” Comprehending and applying the lessons he learned required a mindset shift and a conscious decision to take control of his own life.
A Personal Breakthrough
He eventually experienced a personal breakthrough. He understood that his journey towards personal growth and breaking generational cycles required self-reflection, self-motivation, and perseverance. Reflecting on this Drake says, “I had two ways to go. I could go left and continue the way I’d been going, or I could make a change for my future.”
And in shifting his mindset, the Ranch transformed into a supportive community where staff and therapists became like family. Taking what he learned at the Ranch, Drake continued his journey towards independence in our Transitional Living program.
Drake’s achievements during his time as a foster youth in our programs are a testament to his determination and the support he received. While in the Transitional Living program, he overcame educational hurdles. He went from struggling to graduate to successfully getting his GED. While Drake acknowledges that much of his personal development happened outside of foster care, his time with Good Samaritan provided the foundation and opportunities that allowed him to take charge of his life.
Today, Drake has a young daughter and is working hard to give her the best future possible. He is thriving at his job in the insurance industry and has built a stable, fulfilling life for himself.
Making Lasting Change
Drake emphasizes the importance of patience and acceptance when it comes to working with foster youth. True change takes time, effort, and dedication, and walking alongside a foster youth requires empathy and emotional resilience.
Drake’s story is just one of many examples of the incredible resilience and potential found within foster youth. As we observe National Foster Care Month, we want to remember that by investing in these young lives, they are able to overcome adversity and create brighter futures for themselves!
Want to make a difference for our youth in foster care today? Donate here!