Treehouse Youth Show the Power in Setting Goals

By Catherine Krummey, Treehouse Marketing & Social Media Manager

Whether you’re a student working to raise your math grade or a nonprofit ensuring graduation equity for youth in foster care, we believe success is determined by the goals you set. Goals present an important vision of the future for the community to rally behind and provide action steps to turn those visions into reality.

In 2017, Treehouse achieved a major goal when our youth nearly doubled their high school graduation rate in just 5 years. They proved to us then and continue to prove to us now that when the community invests in intentional, individualized support for youth in foster care, we can create a world where they pursue their dreams and launch successfully into adulthood.

Our 2022 goal is for youth in foster care across Washington state to graduate from high school at the same rate as their peers, with support and a plan to launch successfully into adulthood. We are partnering with the participants in our Graduation Success and Launch Success programs to ensure we all meet our goals.

De’Veion’s long-term goal is to play in the NFL, which he knows will take a lot of hard work. He shows his dedication to the sport by waking up early every school day for his 7 a.m. weight-lifting class, wrestling and running track in the off-season to stay fit. De’Veion keeps up with his schoolwork by setting aside time daily for homework after practice.

This past summer, Treehouse partnered with De’Veion in his goals by paying for him to attend two football camps at Eastern Washington University. He fell in love with the college and even more in love with football.

De’Veion just wrapped up the football season and told Graduation Success Coordinator Nina Moore that the highlight of his season was scoring two touchdowns and getting a sack against opponent Shadle Park High School. When Nina asked what a “sack” was, De’Veion joked that he wants to change his goal to teaching her the sport of football.

Jasmine, who is also a Graduation Success participant, set a goal to find a part-time job. She started volunteering at a local hospital through her school, and after six months, she was recognized for her positive attitude and strong work ethic.
She used that momentum to apply for a job there and was hired as a part-time food attendant.

Jake is well on his way to reaching his career goal of becoming an electrician. He was recently hired by an electrical company to work at an apartment complex. He was required to bring his own set of tools for the job, but he didn’t have any. Through our Launch Success program, we provided him with funding to purchase the tools, which include an electrician’s tool belt, various screwdrivers, pliers and a hammer. We also set him up with work shoes so he can remain safe on the job.

Kayla, a Launch Success participant, has been working full time for several months. She is using the money she’s earning to pay off some of her student debt, putting money into retirement and saving up to live independently soon. Kayla knows these small steps will make a big difference for her later in life.
Another Graduation Success student, Sam, set a goal to graduate on time but was missing a lot of school. His grades were almost all F’s. With his Graduation Success Coordinator, he began setting goals weekly for attendance. We also worked with him to fulfill basic life needs, including getting a phone, computer and new clothes.

This year, his grades have improved dramatically, and concerns about attendance are gone as well. He is excited to be on track to graduate from high school on time. One of the most impressive parts of his story is he travels to Spokane from Cheney each day to attend school. This involves a bus transfer and takes nearly an hour and a half each day.

Learn more about Treehouse’s programs for youth who have experienced foster care at treehouseforkids.org/fostering-futures.

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About the Author

Catherine Krummey is the Marketing and Social Media Manager at Treehouse. She is passionate about storytelling and excited to share stories about Treehouse through social media, blog posts and newsletters.

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