We’ve all been there––adulting is hard. Managing finances, applying for college, finding a promising job or a new apartment––and taking care of your heart and mind along the way. It’s….a lot. With Fair Futures, foster youth don’t have to do it all alone.

Fair Futures pairs young people who’ve spent time in foster care with a personal coach, a trusted individual whose only job is to help make their hopes become reality. During a time when foster youth are aging out of other services––while at the same time taking on increasing responsibility and independence––Fair Futures fills a crucial need. In the past, the program was only available through age 21, but it’s recently expanded to serve young adults up until their 27th birthday––a huge win for JCCA youth.

Ashanty R., JCCA client and Fair Futures participant

“Fair Futures is amazing,” says Ashanty R. “My coach has made a big impact in a short time. We get things done: making appointments, putting a resume together, and just figuring out the logistics of being an adult. But we also talk about what I’m thinking, feeling, and going through. Whatever it is, I know someone’s there for me.”

Fair Futures uses a youth-centered model, meaning the client leads the way. “I ask young people what their goals are,” says Gabriel Rivera, a Fair Futures coach, “I don’t tell them what their goals should be.” Goals vary depending on age and the specifics of one’s situation. It may be passing a class, graduating high school, or gaining job experience. It may be getting into college or a vocational school. It may be opening a bank account, filing taxes, or finding affordable housing. It may be getting better at dealing with stress or relationships.

Gabriel Rivera, Fair Futures coach

Many youth coming out of “the system” have dealt with a lot programs, providers, requirements, and rules. They don’t need another authority figure or more hoops to jump through. But that doesn’t mean they should have to do it all on their own. “I try to lead with respect and understanding,” says Rivera. “I don’t put myself on a different level. I’m still a young guy myself and I’ve been on the same journey: adjusting to adult life, finding a stable place in the world. What I’d say to youth considering the program is: tell me what you want to do this week, this month, this year. Tell me where you want your life to go from here. Let’s figure out how to take the next step. Let’s make that resume. Let’s apply for that apartment. Let’s practice for that job interview. And let’s celebrate when get that job.”

In addition to coaching, youth in Fair Futures have access to all of JCCA’s LEAP services, which include an education specialist, housing specialist, a youth and career development coordinator, tutoring services, and our in-house internship program.

To learn how to enroll, click here.