College Bound and Beyond

Nov 23, 2020 | YOUTH STORIES

As a homeless youth in transition and a ward of the court, Kai never imagined he’d be going to college. That changed with the influence of his foster youth community.

With support from his legal guardian and encouragement from San Diego State University’s Guardian Scholars program, Kai was able to attend SDSU. Through Guardian Scholars, Kai was also introduced to Just in Time for Foster Youth. He joined JIT looking to meet more people with similar backgrounds but found much more.

Through College Bound, Kai received a laptop and printer that he still uses today. Then he went on a shopping trip where he got supplies he needed to successfully study abroad. Additionally, Kai was awarded a JITernship, which provided an income supplement while he worked an unpaid internship doing medical research during his last two years at SDSU.

Kai graduated in May 2020 and began the difficult search for a job amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He applied to opening after opening with no luck, losing hope and going into panic mode until his JIT community came through once again! One of his JIT mentors, Ron Zollman, had a connection at Rady’s Children’s Hospital, one of many places that Kai had applied. Thanks to Ron’s referral, Kai is now in the first part of his career journey as a Research Associate and credits the power of his JIT community!

“I’ve really been able to take advantage and benefit from the services and connections,” Kai shared. “I got into the right place at the right time with the right people. I wouldn’t have been able to get my job without the help of the Just in Time network!”