Hear from Maggie, a DCFYI mentor who began volunteering with DCFYI six years ago, first as a volunteer and now as a mentor!
“About three years ago I was assigned to drive two teens out to an event…It was a pretty quiet car ride… On the way home we dropped off the first teen and the second one, Leslie, turned to me and said, “Everybody has a mentor, and I don’t have one”. And I said I don’t have a mentee. So, she quizzed me and asked me what I liked to do. I said I like to go to museums, I like trying new foods, I like seeing movies. And I guess I passed the test because she said “well, I guess you’ll do!” So that has kicked off the last three years of getting to know one another.
When we first met, Leslie was interning at a retirement community. Through that process she realized that she wanted to become a certified nursing assistant. I am so proud of how she figured out how to get enrolled in classes, the logistics of getting there on time, and then studying to pass the classes and the licensing exam. And now she is employed as a CNA.
Honestly, I am so inspired by her ability to understand herself and know the career path that she saw for herself and find a way to do it. Leslie is one of the most resilient, determined people I know. Aging out of the foster care system just comes with a lot of hardship; transitioning to the adult world in any circumstances is very challenging; doing it from the foster care system it is even more challenging. Leslie embodies resilience, perseverance, and grit. She keeps showing up.
But honestly one of the things that I love most and get the opportunity to share with her is that she is also quite funny… She’s silly and lighthearted. She loves the people around her really well and really hard and that is something I love about her, that she wants to give.
One of the things I also love about this DCFYI community is how devoted and generous they are - whether it is an extra cellphone to help a teen or opening up their homes for a cooking event or some other DCFYI event.”