Please watch the video to hear our founder’s own foster care and adoption story.
Disconnected, Unprepared, De-Valued. A young man stood with his mentor on a sidewalk in Downtown Fort worth, with a resigned look on his face and everything he owned in his backpack. It was 1PM in the afternoon, and he had just arrived at the bus station after being stranded about an hour and a half away. As he and his mentor looked for services that would help him get back on his feet, they were met with answering machines and service qualifications that he did not meet. They were also met with a process where he had to interview for a spot in a transitional living program, just to be told that this would be another time he would be denied. In the face of the frustration and disappointment that he was understandably experiencing throughout his journey, he exhibited resilience and other attributes found in the world’s most notable leaders.
Prior to that day on the Downtown Fort Worth sidewalk, Daniel Tiblets had spent 5 years working with teens and young adults from foster care, both in-person and online. Each individual he worked with faced many of the same obstacles the young man faced, but nothing brought the obstacles to life as much as standing there and facing the obstacles with him. In addition to facing the same obstacles as the young man, many of those Tiblets worked with exhibited the same resilience and leadership potential.
By the end of the first or second year that he was mentoring the foster youth community, Tiblets started noticing that much of the dialogue about foster care centered around the negative adult outcomes of foster youth. He wanted to see what was needed to help foster youth nurture their inherent resilience and leadership potential to avoid these outcomes. Moreover, he started networking with former foster youth who had successfully navigated this transition, and also individuals who had provided guidance to those who had achieved this success (foster/adoptive parents, child welfare professionals, CASAs, etc.). Much of what was learned from this correspondence, centered around 3 core concepts – Connection, Learning, and Leadership.