Forever Family: Couple focuses on helping teens prepare for life after foster care
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Transitioning into adulthood can make or break the life of a young adult, especially those who grew up in foster care and have very little support.
That is why Dr. Allen Griffin and his wife Hashmareen are committed to helping these young people here in North Carolina move forward with an idea that came as a vision, and a gift that would inspire and bring a greater sense of normalcy to their lives. They run Excellerate, a 16-week personal development program that focuses on five primary areas of growth: Professionalism, Financial Responsibility, Social Skills, Spiritual Enrichment, and Life Skills.
Allen Griffin: I had twenty-six foster brothers, two birth siblings, and two adopted siblings. My parents were so good at sharing our home and letting us learn the lesson that community is family, at the same time. I was constantly being chased by my wife about the subject of caring for kids in foster care.
Hashmareen Griffin: To help the teens that are coming of age that the statistics share that so many of them end up homeless, commit suicide, end up in jail, repeat a lot of the sad cycles that their parents have done.
Allen Griffin: In the middle of the night, I wake up and God shows me this vision, this plan.
Hashmareen Griffin: And we started writing all of it down.
Allen Griffin: What would make a young person, a teenager, say, “Hey I’m gonna go over to a building I’ve never been in and learn how to be a productive adult.” And it felt like the Lord spoke to me and said, “I want you to give them a car. Every single student that graduates our program, give them a car, that way they can drive to work, they can drive to church, they can drive to school, and it’s the gift that they need most when they graduate high school and they’re looking towards the future.” And so, we’ve given away nearly 200 cars to young people who are so deserving and so in need. And most of those cars came from people like you that say, “Hey, I want to do something to transform the life of a young person.” Well, we found out that that gift is really the carrot. The best thing about carrots is that they really give you better sight. And when you give someone a vision of what life can look like and how much better it can be their life is changed.
Their organization is not only looking for car donations and volunteers, their hope is to expand their courses in North Carolina. To contact them, go to Excellerateyouth.org.
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