Tuesday, Aug 28, 2018
CASA Helps Foster Youth Recognize Her Potential
Molly Ganoza is an engaging, bright eyed 24-year-old studying child and adolescent development at San Jose State. She recently completed a paid summer internship at the Santa Clara Department of Families and Children’s Services and her life is moving in a positive direction.
When she was 15, Molly faced an uncertain future when she was pulled from an unsafe home environment and placed in foster care. Unlike most foster youth, Molly’s life is a success story of resiliency and perseverance. She beat the odds that most foster care youth face as they emerge as young adults: fewer than 50% of foster youth graduate high school, only 10% attend college and less than 2% graduate.
Playing a key role in Molly’s life has been Midori Adams, Molly’s Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), who began working with Molly when she was 17 years old.
"Foster kids just never know what to expect," Molly explains. "You wake up in a group home and then you might get a placement into a foster home. There's just no stability in your life, and there's nobody there to help you. Midori provided the structure I needed and helped me see my potential. She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. She helped me grow into the person I am today.”
The two visited local junior colleges, applied for scholarships and attended an open house at De Anza College. Other times, they would just go out for coffee and talk. Midori became the caring adult in Molly’s life.
“Many people don’t realize that foster children are in the foster care system through no fault of their own,” Midori says. “Young people need mentors and a caring adult to speak up for their best interests. Working with Molly has made my life much richer and rewarding. The biggest joy Molly gave me was when she recognized her own potential and started to believe in herself."
“When there are issues in a family, it can become a cycle," Molly explains. "Kids endure these situations and don't know how to turn it around. It overcomes them. Midori was there to give me a guiding hand, to provide that consistent adult relationship that all children need. When I graduate from college, my next goal is to earn my master’s degree in public administration. Then it will be my turn to help others.”
To help other foster youth recognize their potential, please make a donation to our 2018 Fall Campaign. We have a $10,000 matching grant to help us reach our goal to raise $20,000 to recruit 100 CASAs for 100 foster children. Thank you!