DCFYI fits perfectly with volunteer Dawn's skill set. She has been involved in her community dating back to her high school days and her involvement level remains strong. Dawn has a sister who was training to become an adoptive parent and she tagged along to the training, which is where she found a passion for wanting to help older kids in foster care.

Dawn believes the natural connection that develops between the teens and the volunteers is one of the best parts of being involved with DCFYI. She finds herself able to help a different number of teens in different ways. Her passions include theater, concerts and other live performances, which she is able to share with teens who are passionate about the same things. Another way Dawn is able to help is with her vast knowledge of the college landscape and the requirements for applying to college. Not only is she able to help teens, but also other volunteers who may come to her with questions. Dawn credits the DCFYI training as giving her the tools to best serve teens in foster care. Dawn found the training so invaluable that she said, “I wish I had known some of this for my own kids.”

The organic nature of matching mentees with mentors is one of the reasons Dawn has continued to be part of the DCFYI family. There is not a push for volunteers to immediately have a mentee and for some that works out perfectly, as with Dawn because she finds she is able to help more teens that way. She also appreciates the support system DCFYI provides and how the volunteers care deeply about the teens and this program. That dedication is what makes DCFYI special.