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Licensed to Thrive

Mar 04, 2020 | YOUTH STORIES

Marquita’s entire life changed in third grade when she was taken away during school and placed into the foster care system.

In her 11 years in care, she was initially separated from her sister, Makayla, and bounced around between six different homes. In 2012, she was kicked out of her final foster home, facing homelessness for a year before finding a place for her and Makayla to stay. Around that same time, a friend recommended Just in Time to her.

Marquita came to the JIT office, at first shy to ask for assistance, but soon found much more than help; she found a supportive family! After engaging in several JIT services, Marquita built up the confidence to attain a goal she feared may never be possible due to her dyslexia: getting her driver’s license. She signed up for Changing Lanes and was paired with a volunteer coach who worked with her. “When I was practicing for my test, it took a little bit longer to even just learn left from right when turning,” she recalled. “It really gave me anxiety but my instructor was very helpful and patient.”

The first time Marquita took her driver’s test, she failed by one point. But this didn’t discourage her from trying again. She passed her second test with flying colors, not missing a single point, and got her license the day before her 21st birthday. Since then, she’s even gotten her own car with the help of JIT!

“I always had a fear of driving until Just in Time gave me the courage and spirit to keep going,” said Marquita. “They just want to see me move forward and grow. My confidence in who I am has increased. If you knew me before, you probably wouldn’t even recognize me!”