An RJLF Fellow is a young adult in, exiting, or who has aged out of foster care who has been awarded an individualized fellowship by exhibiting a proven interest in furthering his/her education and/or career. Meet some of our Fellows:
NOTE: Nicknames are used in order to protect the privacy of our Fellows.
Michael became a ward of the state when he was 12 years old, along with his brother. Despite huge obstacles, Michael succeeded at
West Chester University; he supported himself through grants and worked hard to qualify for scholarships and loans. When he came to RJLF, he needed career guidance, a network of professionals to help him enter a difficult job market, and training related to his interview skills. Michael is now truly self-sufficient. Having landed a highly coveted spot in a management training program of a Fortune 500 company, he is now employed as an analyst and supporting himself (and his dog). Today, Michael offers his guidance and encouragement to current RJLF Fellows as they make their own transitions out of foster care.
As an RJLF Fellow, Michael has benefited from receiving:
Peter is the youngest of five children. As a ward of the state, he has never received support from his parents, and while he lived with his older brother and sister for short periods, neither could support him full time. Peter has held numerous part-time jobs since he was 14 years old, and after his admission into Temple University, he continued to work hard to support himself and further his education through jobs and internships. He recently graduated with a degree in Sports Marketing, and we are happy to announce that Peter recently landed a coveted entry-level position with a Philadelphia sports team, completely in line with his major and career goals.
As an RJLF Fellow, Peter has benefited from receiving:
At the age of 3, James was forced to sleep on the streets of Philadelphia. By his 12th birthday, he had bounced around to so many residential treatment facilities that he lost track of the exact number. He completely missed fourth and fifth grades due to hospitalization. However, despite these hardships, he graduated from a Bucks County public high school and is now an "Orangeman," playing football at Syracuse University. He plans to graduate in 2016. James continues to face many obstacles connected to mental and academic difficulties, but with a lot of support from his foster family, the community, and RJLF, he is positive about his future.
As an RJLF Fellow, James has benefited from receiving:
Tamra was taken away from her schizophrenic mother when she was very young and lived with her grandmother during her grade school years. At 11, she was moved into her first group home, and by the time she aged out at 18, she had moved 15 times, bouncing from foster homes to group homes to independent transition facilities. When she initially became involved with RJLF, Tamra suffered from insecurity, lack of trust, and low self esteem, and she had never had a tight circle of consistent friends. She had no one to support her educational interests, and she was facing the immense financial challenges associated with going to college on her own.
As an RJLF Fellow, Tamra has benefited from receiving:
Tracy entered the foster care system when she was 13. She is a feisty, tenacious young woman who has kept a positive spirit and a commitment to her education through dramatically trying times. She recently graduated from Temple University and is seeking funding and support to continue on to graduate school, where she hopes to complete a law degree and become a civil rights lawyer.
As an RJLF Fellow, Tracy has benefited from receiving: