Kaitlyn Howard was introduced to me as a freshman in high school. Kaitlyn was moving into the homeless shelter and had been homeless for at least the past four years. Kaitlyn was behind educationally and had poor attendance. Kaitlyn's mother sold and used drugs, and had no father in her life (step-father in jail and father not in the picture). Kaitlyn's mother would often leave her alone at the shelter for days, and she would have to help feed, get to school (you get the picture), her two younger brothers. Getting her brothers to school would make her late for school, and it took the school village to help her overcome attendance and academic challenges.
Kaitlyn struggled to manage everything and ran into emotional setbacks. Through every challenge academically, socially, emotionally, most people have their family to fall back on (Kaitlyn did not). Through it all, she kept "Strength"! Kaitlyn's mother left to go to another shelter at the end of her junior year. Kaitlyn stayed behind and was fortunate to find an extremely generous family that would welcome her into their home and treated her like family. In her senior year, she was working, living with a caring foster family, and she thrived.
Although I shared but a fraction of all the happenings of her story, it now leads us to the present. Kaitlyn is accepted at a four-year college and received the equal opportunity fund and state grants. However, with all the state assistance, Kaitlyn would still need to take out a sizable loan to cover her college costs. As you can imagine, it is difficult enough to pay for college, but for Kaitlyn, it is more so. Which is where I am asking you, the village, to help Kaitlyn with her college education.
Look deep into your heart and help this AMAZING young woman who has shown such strength, fortitude, and courage in her young life. Give what you can to help support Kaitlyn Howard on her journey, and show her that there are others who care.
I have been inspired by her story, and hope that my brief account will inspire you!
Note: After initially publishing this story with a pseudonym, Kaitlyn asked me to publish this story with her real name, so that people would know her story. I am honoring that request and posted this story with her permission.
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