Volume 2 | April 8, 2020
Week 2: Education
"Wisdom begins in wonder." ~Socrates

Included in this issue:
  • What are the educational obstacles faced by RFLB clients
  • How can RFLB help? Video Interview with Volunteer Tutor, Denise Way
  • RFLB True Story: The Progress of One Becoming Hope for Many
  • Urgent Needs: Join our Roots
  • The Least of These Music & Lyrics by Brad Brewer
What are the educational obstacles RFLB clients face?
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) : We can not ignore the effects of childhood trauma on the developing brain and body. To learn more feel free to watch this 16 minute TedMed talk by Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris and read the supporting article by the Center for Youth Wellness.

Multiple Foster Placements & Constantly Changing Schools: Sudden and constant changes to both living situations, counties and schools cause inconsistencies in learning and many fall behind and eventually feel it's impossible to catch up.

Absence of a Supportive Adult: Research and experience show us, without the care, nurturing, guidance and leadership of a supportive adult, the encouragement and motivation to develop the skills to persevere- a necessary component of learning are often absent or underdeveloped.

*Computers: Many of our clients depend on school or the public library for computer access. In the new age of COVID-19, the need for laptops and at home internet access is essential.
"The single most important thing we need today is the courage to look this problem in the face and say, this is real and this is all of us." ~ Dr. Nadine Burke Harris

"The term “Adverse Childhood Experiences,” or “ACEs,” comes from the 1998 Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study). The study...is one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess connections between chronic stress caused by early adversity and long-term health... " ... continue reading .
How does RFLB help?
One on One Tutoring: Thanks to the kind of compassionate, dedicated and excellent teachers like Denise Way (meet Denise in our video interview) who do one on one volunteer tutoring in our Learning Lab *, clients have free and easy access to the kind of encouragement, guidance and consistency needed to unlock their potential and find the motivation to not give up on themselves through the difficult processes of learning.

FastTrack GED Program: RFLB has been selected as a licensed learning site to deliver a world-renowned FastTrack GED program developed by Pat Higgs and now run by Katie Stewart. We are in the process of receiving a grant to fund this program that boasts a 90% graduation rate and will provide an efficient and effective resource to aid in youth achieving their high school diplomas.

On-Site Mental Health Counseling: we are in process of establishing on-site licensed mental health counselors for clients to have free, easy access to counseling as they pursue learning opportunities.

Life Skills Classes: Starting in April as Pilot Program in Partnership with Smile for Budgie and Brevard Youth Leadership Council (BYLC) RFLB will be offering clients a Zoom class called Ready for Housing. These will give young adults the opportunity to learn more about the following subjects: Applying for a FYI Hud Voucher, How to be a good tenant, How to be a good roommate, How to manage money and more.

RFLB True Story:
The Progress of One Becoming Hope for Many
A few short months ago, and as a brand new client at RFLB, Arianna sat at a table in the heart of the Ready for Life Brevard family room while Ms. Pam listened to her story.

Arianna explained where she'd been, what she'd gone through in the horror of the years that resulted in her foster care experience and the years of faithful counseling she still depended on as a result. She told her where she was- excited to be pursuing a college education through a PESS grant. And finally, in her authentic, vulnerable and always hopeful way, she asked for our help with the direction of her future.

Like so many of our clients, Arianna's hopes were becoming paralyzed by fundamental needs that were not being met. Stable housing, a supportive adult to which she could turn, extra help with her college classes, a sense of belonging, community and home. And not just for herself, she explained, her young children's lives were at stake too. They were counting on her and her determination to provide a better life for them than had been provided for her was palpable.

Since her first day of tutoring, it's been a great privilege to witness the relationship and trust unfolding in the Learning Lab between Arianna and Denise. Each time, I see Arianna's eyes fill with relief and growing determination. Over and over I witness the consistent soft, uplifting tone of Denise's instruction as she sits like a sentry next to Arianna, her posture solid and upright protecting the space, guarding the time, a hero for releasing potential held captive unjustly and for far too long. And finally, and best of all, I see Arianna's growing confidence and belief in herself with each new moment of understanding.

Today, Arianna has just moved into her first apartment. She's learning how to juggle a lot of responsibilities with her kids, college classes at EFSC, as a first time renter and the essential task of maintaining her mental health and self care in the middle of it all. As you'll see in her words below, Arianna's life is changing for the better. She's hopeful and that hope keeps her motivated to provide hope for others.

"I want other foster care adults and kids aging out to know
it's ok to have someone care for us. And it's ok to grow.
It's scary, but I want them to know it's possible. And there is so much more to them
than the the trauma and the things they went through.
They don't have to be the victim.
They can be a survivor and overcome."

~ Arianna
Join our Roots!

Thank you to all past and present donors! Because of you, we were able to provide an abundance of non-perishable items and hygiene items to several RFLB clients as well as help another client furnish her first apartment!! You can be sure to know, the young adults you've wrapped your support around are feeling grateful for the renewed sense of protection and love from the community!

If you haven't already and you would like to join our roots, please click on this link URGENT HELP NEEDED! to see our list of needs and instructions about donations and please feel free to share!

*Our Learning Lab is equipped with 6 computers generously donated by Computers Advancing Education but is now closed due to COVID-19. We have an urgent need for a laptop for one of Denise's clients so she can continue her online classes for EFSC. Please contact corrie.dunkin@readyforlifebrevard.org for more information.

The Least of These
Music & Lyrics recorded live for RFLB
by Brad Brewer

Thank you for joining us!

May your week be filled with hope and good health!

"Wisdom begins in wonder." ~Socrates