In the end, he landed on Yale, where he started graduate school this fall. But it was the ETV program and Education Coordinator Leona Gray that made it all possible.
Foster Success supported over 300 students last year, providing more than $2 million for college or training programs. According to the most recent impact survey, 74% made significant progress toward a higher education goal.
The young people Foster Success supports are persistent. Of those who did not complete a degree or credential by June, 95% said they plan to continue their education in the fall, according to the survey. Johntrell, admittedly, was not a good high school student. He had a lot on his plate at the time, he said.
“I think when people look at me they think I was this perfect student. I wasn’t. Full disclosure, I was almost expelled from high school. Something I see often in foster care is when children make a mistake, the system wants to throw you out. There isn’t a perfect student. I’ve had a lot of struggles, and the struggles will continue. Foster youth are dealing with a lot of external forces. Be patient with them,” he said.
“That’s why I value community so much. If I lost everything today, I would still have everything because I have a community of people who have given me everything.”
With the support of Foster Success and his community of people, Johntrell turned things around. Now, he hopes to make a difference globally. “My goal is to be sort of a liaison between domestic and international public health crises, not secluded to one country or areas. I want to work to merge those commonalities to find practical solutions to public health problems.
How have solutions in other parts of the country proven helpful? … working with politicians and public and private industries to figure that out,” he said.