Malachi had no relationship with his family and faced aging out of foster care.
When Daniel* first became a mentor to a youth in foster care, he was matched with Malachi, an 18 year old living in a group home. Malachi had no relationship with his family and faced aging out of foster care. That was 12 years ago.
In those early years, Daniel and Malachi met weekly to go bowling, watch movies, or eat out at a restaurant. Daniel planned outings for them to get to know one another and build the mentor relationship. Over time, their meetings have changed how they look, but Daniel is still there.
Malachi graduated from college with a 3.5 GPA and is a member of the Army Reserve. He has a civilian job that holds promise, but the challenges still creep in. Like many other alumni from foster care, Malachi’s life situation leaves him with little safety net.
While Malachi has overcome numerous obstacles over the years, he is still working towards financial stability.
These days, Malachi calls Daniel to vent or to ask for advice. Malachi listens to Daniel’s counsel in all of life’s difficulties. Daniel can’t ensure that Malachi will stay in this job or find a stable home, but he will still be there through it all.
Daniel recognizes both Malachi’s achievements and the challenges he still faces. “I wish I had some perfect picture to paint, but I don’t. That’s not where we are. But I am still here, and I’m still helping.”
One constant Malachi has in his life is the support of his mentor Daniel.
The challenges of living in foster care don’t stop when youth age out of care. For Malachi, other supporters along the way have come and gone, but this mentor relationship has stuck. Even as a 30 year old, he knows that Daniel is just a phone call away saying, “I am still here.”
*All names have been changed to protect privacy. The stories are real.
>There are 1,270 youth ages 13-17 in foster care in SC April 13, 2023
Source: Foster Care Dashboard (https://reports.dss.sc.gov/ReportServer/Pages/ReportViewer.aspx?/Foster+Care)
Want to be there for a youth in foster care?
Find out more:
- Tutor a child in foster care
- Mentor a youth in foster care
- Become a foster parent
- Become a Guardian ad Litem