“We Don’t Assume That We Know What These Kids’ Needs Are, But Instead Endeavor To Ask.”
-Jennifer Boling, Co-Founder
As teens involved in the foster system grow up, their needs grow with them. School supplies, college application fees, and extracurricular activities all cost time and money that many vulnerable teens and families find beyond their reach.
We team up with teens, youth, and their team members, including caseworkers, mentors, foster and bio parents, attorneys, and CASAs to identify where they need extra support; we work to fill their wishes within our community through fundraising and making connections with our fellow non-profits.
We strive to go beyond the basics, working to connect teens with scholarships and financial assistance for summer camps, occupational internships, and extracurricular courses in an effort to help students explore their interests and passions. Our goal is to offer educational, cultural, and other enrichments that teens in foster care are too often denied.
We knew from the start that we needed to create an organization where teens and youth in foster care were offered a chance to speak for themselves. We formed Howard’s Heart with a vision of focusing entirely on what our teens identified as their wants and needs, making the driving force behind where and how we spend our funding entirely based on the opinions, ideas, and requests we get from them.
The more we grow the more we hear from our teens that they so appreciate being able to make their own requests, get what they need, and feel like someone is listening to them.
In fact, at the end of our first Teen Voices event, one of our youth who had participated said, “Just being in the room with adults who don’t have to be here, who are listening and responding to what we want, is giving me hope. You have already made a difference.”