Did You Know?
Through a collaboration with Murphy’s Produce with Purpose, we helped provide groceries for our participants. The boxes included over 20 pounds of fresh produce and an additional box of dry goods like rice and pasta! It was great timing for many of our college students moving into their dorms to start the semester with a refrigerator full of food. Check out our Instagram to to see how it went!
Sep. 6: Office Closed/Labor Day
Sep. 9: Coach Approach Training
Sep. 16: New Volunteer Info Session
Sep. 18: Pathways to Financial Power Conference
Sep. 25: Portraits for Female Participants
Sep. 25: Coach Approach Practice
S’more Memories with College Bound
by Virgo Villajin, JIT Staff
Jen, our College Bound coordinator, hosted a bonfire for our College Bound students to give them some relaxation before they embark on their academic terms. The group enjoyed lunch on the beach, played games, and gathered around the bonfire to watch the sunset and make s’mores together.
One of the activities Jen facilitated helped our participants let go of something negative that persisted in their thoughts. Everyone wrote down something that was affecting them on a piece of paper, and tossed it into the fire to let it go. JIT participant Marie shared, “This was such a great activity, it helped me to see and acknowledge my thought and it felt refreshing to let it go.”
As the evening progressed, a shared theme of well-needed connection became clear. As bonfire attendee Derrick shared, “I didn’t know that I needed this so much, I’ve been cooped up in my apartment and it’s nice to be around people.”
For some of our participants, connection can be a difficult thing to maintain even on a campus full of other students.
JIT participant Christiana shared, “It feels great to be around people that understand my experience and can joke around like this. Even on campus where I’m surrounded by people, it’s really hard to find people that get me like that.”
It was a fantastic event hosted by Jen and it was beautiful to see the connections and memories made that evening. We’re excited to see how these relationships will continue to grow as the year progresses!
From Trash Bags to Triumph with Away Luggage
by Virgo Villajin, JIT Staff
Recently, we received a generous donation of 200 brand-new pieces of luggage from Away. This high-quality, hard shell luggage came with a built-in lock perfect for carry-on and a second option for a larger bag that had a portable battery to charge phones on long travels. Ivan, our Services Enterprise/Partnerships Manager, and Emilio, our My First Home Coordinator, teamed up to initiate the partnership and distribute the luggage to our youth.
We were met with an outpour of gratitude and appreciation from our participants. JIT participant Andy shared, “I’m excited to have something that I can use for the rest of my life. I’m an International business major and this gets me even more excited to pursue my field.”
Owning luggage carries a lot of meaning for our community. Some of our participants recall having to put their belongings in trash bags when they moved foster homes because no one provided them with luggage. The trash bags represented a lack of permanence and had long-term emotional impacts in the way they viewed the worth of their belongings and themselves.
In a powerful spoken word poem, JIT participant Stephany expresses the significance of this donation. She shared, “This is more than a just a travel suitcase, a trash bag has now been replaced with a fresh start. From trash bags to luggages, now life is an adventure, full of opportunities.”
Check out our new YouTube video for the full poem and expressions of gratitude from our community!
Investor Spotlight: Don Schneider
by Virgo Villajin, JIT Staff
“When I heard about what that initial transition out of foster care is like, a striking image formed in my mind. It was the image of being pushed out of a plane, not knowing if you have a parachute or not, surrounded by so much uncertainty and instability. That’s when I knew I had to get involved.”
Don Schneider first heard about Just in Time’s mission at the Extraordinary Opportunities dinner party hosted by long time JIT supporters, Dave and Barbara Snodgrass. Don shared with us that he counted himself very fortunate for having the support of his parents growing up and even as an adult. He knows the difference that all the help from caring adults has made in his life; as a result, he aspires to provide that same support to young people in our community.
Don earned his success in a nontraditional way, working various jobs and ultimately becoming an entrepreneur with international business experience, all of it without a traditional college degree. He’s leveraged his success in a major way by becoming a reliable JIT supporter with annual investments in our community since his first contact in 2015.
Last month, Don reached out to us as he was planning a move to New York to be closer with his family. We were top of mind for him to donate lightly used furniture and other items that were in great condition for My First Home. He even donated some high-quality professional shoes that are sure to help our young men walk into their interviews confident and stylish.
He also extended his support to our Pathways service to help prepare the launch of our Emerging Entrepreneur series. Don shared some great words of encouragements and insights about his entrepreneurial journey that we’ll be able to share with our participants to kick off the series.
When asked how he feels about our participants, Don shared, “To have gotten this far in their lives, overcoming the challenges of foster care and being here with a community to elevate themselves to the next level, they’ve already demonstrated a high degree of entrepreneurial spirit in making do with what they have and turning it into something great. One of the reasons I’m so proud to support Just in Time is the talent and achievements of the young people that participate in the services.”
We wish Don well on his move to New York and look forward to staying in touch with his family!