Together We Rise Supports Foster Care Kids When They Need It Most
In 2008, college student Danny Mendoza discovered that his 9-year-old cousin had been living in a car.
The boy was placed in foster care, and while trying to help him maintain some semblance of childhood, Mendoza quickly became frustrated—not only at the lack of resources available to foster kids but at a system that essentially tosses kids out at 18 without doing much to prepare them for life after.
Helping those children became Mendoza’s mission. Still a college student at the time, he founded Together We Rise, a California-based nonprofit that empowers foster children through initiatives such as mentoring, tutoring, athletic programs, and advocacy.
“Kids in foster care in America are never really talked about; it’s like an unheard cause,” Mendoza says. “Our goal is to share the statistics and share the issue, so people will help out, and it definitely makes a huge difference.”
Current statistics on foster care children don’t provide much in the way of optimism for their future: According to the nonprofit’s website, two of three foster kids will die, go to jail, or become homeless within one year of aging out of the system. Even before that happens, the average foster child will endure life-altering upheaval; removed from their families because of abuse or neglect, they may change foster homes frequently, often without warning. Many age out of the system even before they’ve completed their high school education.
“Eighty percent of the prison population was once in foster care,” Mendoza says. “Their future is set out for them, and without the right help, that’s where they’re going to end up.” Read More…
If you’d like to help Together We Rise support our nation’s foster care kids, visit its website.
To find out more about Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good Program, which is running through November 19, visit the campaign’s Facebook page, and discover other nonprofits that need your vote.
This post is sponsored by Toyota’s philanthropy program 100 Cars for Good. Starting October 1 and ending November 19, do your own good deed by voting for your favorite organizations and causes on the 100 Cars for Good Facebook App.
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