A high priority for 4MK has been helping youth move towards independence. Each year, with the assistance of Montgomery County social workers, we offer scholarships to a few students who are moving on to higher education after high school. This year, Kayla and Carson were selected and received their awards at the annual foster care family picnic.
Carson is going to community college and is interested in studying information technology. Kayla will be studying nursing.
While both Carson and Kayla will have their tuition covered by federal and state funds, no money was provided for transportation, books, and all the other extra expenses that go with this next stage of life. Without our funds, the full college experience would have been out of reach for these young people. As you can see from the video, Carson and Kayla greatly appreciated our support. We wish them so much luck in this next step in their adventures.
More than 550 in less than five years! That is how many children and youth have been helped by 4Montgomery’s Kids (4MK) and we can’t thank you enough! In 2015, 4Montgomery’s Kids began this incredible journey of helping Montgomery County’s neediest children and youth receive the goods and services other children get. 4MK provides funding for:
extracurricular activities such as summer camp, gym memberships, art classes and sports;
educational support including books, computers and tuition;
assistance with rent, security deposits and furniture for youth transitioning out of foster care;
help with transportation, including gas cards, metro cards, drivers education and car repairs;
job support with the focus on vocational training, uniforms and work clothes;
other targeted areas such as gift cards for special occasions, prom attire, clothing and family support.
The graph is a breakdown of the way your funds have been allocated.
We are particularly excited to be sending more than 35 children to summer camp this year. Summer camp can change a child’s life in so many ways. As a social worker told us:
“this young lady had a number of issues, including an inability to make friends. She went to camp, gained confidence, tried new activities, made friends and her mother reported that she came home a completely different kid and, subsequently did extremely well in school in the fall, had a group of friends, and the family has not been involved with CWS again.”
If camp can do this for one child, imagine what if can do for thirty-five. With your help we can sponsor even more.
This month we are saluting the social workers in the Transitioning Youth Services Unit, headed by Shari Zouhairi. These social workers develop and implement plans for youth who must leave the Child Welfare system at age twenty-one. The youth they work with have some of the greatest challenges facing children in the child welfare system. The workers in this unit help these young people navigate among other things finding jobs, affordable housing and higher education. They often ask 4MK to support these youth by providing money for housing deposits, transportation expenses, clothing for interviews, and books and laptops for school.
Most recently a social worker from this unit asked 4MK to help with the security deposit for a girl who is aging out of the system. The girl was working and could pay the monthly rent but did not have the outlay for the security deposit. Keeping this girl from homelessness is but one of the miracles performed by the amazing workers in this unit.
Our hats are off to these dedicated workers who work so hard to help put these young people on the path to a successful future. It is our great pleasure to help them do their jobs.
“I want to thank you all at Montgomery Kids for all the help. When I was down on the floor, you all came to help and stretched your hand.”
These are the words of a young person we have helped . There are over 400 children who have been removed from their homes because of child abuse and neglect. These children suffer trauma from the circumstances that led to foster care. They are grieving for the home and people they left. They are the focus of our work
4Montgomery’s Kids (formerly Montgomery’s Kids) is a local nonprofit agency that helps Montgomery County’s most vulnerable children and youth. 4MK supplements what children who have experienced abuse and neglect, those in the Child Welfare system, receive from the state and county services. Resources we provide help normalize a child’s life experiences, and help youth transitioning out of foster care find housing, jobs, and other resources. We help create a brighter future for these children.
We need your help to continue this work
A few of those young people wrote:
“I just wanted to thank you Montgomery’s Kids. I appreciated everything. If it was not for you guys helping me with the cost for Certified Medication Technician (CMT), I wouldn’t have my current job. I appreciate it sincerely. Y’all are the best!”
“Through the 4Montgomery Kids Program, I received funding for meals when I served as a Student Page for the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis. Thank you 4Montgomery Kids for your generosity to youth in foster care.”
“Thank you so very much for helping me out with school and buying me a laptop. I’m a college student and it’s very much appreciated. “
From July 2017 to July 2018 (our last fiscal year) 4MK provided assistance to 122 children. Since July, we have helped an additional 45 children. We supplemented their educations with college books, computers and money for extracurricular activities. This summer we sent 40 children to summer camp. Young people transitioning out of foster care received security deposits, furniture, food, gift cards, and work clothes.
Social workers also have told us how children benefit greatly from the opportunities and services you helped us provide. “I am so thankful for Montgomery’s Kids who has poured out opportunity time and time again for current and former youth in foster care to succeed toward self-sufficiency. They have blessed youth with financial support for higher education pathway for college/vocational training, housing and employment stability, and personal health care. Personally, it has been especially challenging to locate funds for emancipated youth; however, Montgomery’s Kids has been a tremendous source of help and hope when the need arises. The state needs more organization like them.”
“Providing assistance for “things” has enabled many of my clients to achieve a sense of normalcy in their anything but normal lives. 4Montgomery Kids paid for a parking pass at University of Maryland while one of my clients was a student commuter, bought a new Ipad for a hearing impaired client and purchased gym memberships for several of my clients — and that’s just a few ways 4Montgomery kids helps make a difference in one life at a time!!!”