Chris began volunteering with DC FYI almost immediately upon moving to Washington, DC, in the summer of 2016. Having previously been involved with other mentorship organizations, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and the Charleston, West Virginia, Education Elevator Program, he was intrigued by DC FYI, but was at first unsure if he was equipped to serve as a mentor.

“Not only did I know nothing about the foster care system, I was also brand new to the city. I had just sold my car and was unfamiliar with the area, so the prospect of taking this on was a little bit daunting” he said. “But after a number of events the teens begin to open up more, the other adults begin to know you by name, and things kind of just fall into place.”

He began to connect with one of the teens at the annual holiday party, and after building on that relationship at DC FYI events, the two were matched as mentor/mentee. “It’s been phenomenal getting to know him on a one-on-one level. Even just the conversations that take place before and after events provide a great basis for understanding who he is and building on our friendship.”

Outside of DC FYI, Chris works as an election lawyer, is a recurring faculty member for the West Virginia Governor’s Honors Academy, and participates in endurance events like the GoRuck challenge.