“I love working,” says Amber in her To Foster Change interview about the importance of job training programs. “It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I’m doing something. I’m going to be okay.”
For foster youth and former foster youth, securing work can be a challenge. Some might lack access to devices that are necessary for job hunts, like computers or cell phones. Others might need job training or assistance in learning how to build a resume.
Watch "Amber: Job Training Was Key in Finding Stability" to hear the joy in Amber's voice when she talks about working.
Amber, who spent her childhood bouncing around foster homes, found her job search particularly difficult when she tried doing it on her own. She was experiencing homelessness while looking for work.
“I had a computer but I literally could not find a job,” she says.
Then, Amber’s foster mother connected her with RightWay, and eventually gained work. The organization offered job training and set her up with job interviews.
“Ever since then, they’ve been in my life, and I couldn’t be more grateful,” she says.
Now, at 26, Amber is continuing her education. She hopes to go to graduate school after college and is looking to work in education, possibly as a high school counselor.
“I wake up, and I want to do better. I want to be better than before,” Amber says. “I want to be somebody in life.”
The RightWay Foundation: Since 2011, The RightWay Foundation has been working with foster youth as they transition into adulthood. The organization offers resources for job training and placement, therapy, financial literacy, and parenting programs for Los Angeles County people between the ages of 18 and 26.
Extraordinary Families: Extraordinary Families works with families and youth through various programs and has been commended by the Human Rights Campaign multiple times for its work with LGBTQ families. For youth transitioning out of the foster care system, their Unlimited Possibilities for Youth (UP4Youth) program offers mentoring, job training and educational guidance.
Youth Moving On: Pasadena-based organization Youth Moving On focuses on people between the ages of 16 and 25 who have transitioned out of the foster care system. They offer life skills classes and work with youth on money management and career and educational goals. YMO also provides housing services.