Overview: Tawanesha is a vivacious and determined young woman. She has always been very thoughtful and compassionate for others. She spent he life growing up in the foster care system, aging out at 18. At 13 she joined the Kidsave program and was matched with a young woman, Jessica, who started hosting and is still in Tawanesha’s life. At 16 she met a couple through the program, Amy and Peter, who have also committed to being the permanent people in her life. Tawanesha has overcome many obstacles that compels her to want to share her story with others. Today she is thriving as a sales associate and Macy’s and student at Santa Monica College. Right now her career aspiration is to work with other youth who have gone through traumatic experiences.
Jesseca’s story: I found Kidsave when I was 24. I had been searching for an organization to mentor youth. While I wasn’t in a position to adopt, I was able to become a permanent person. After the orientation I was matched with a 13-year-old girl, Tawanesha. The first year of my relationship was just being Tawanesha’s mentor, taking her to the beach, the bookstore, all of which were new experiences for her.
About a year into our relationship I obtained Tawanesha’s education rights which of course took the relationship to another level. Tawanesha was in a very dark place, and I said to her, “I know everyone in your life has left you, but I am here to stay. So go and push me away, but I am not leaving”.
She was so confused as to why I made this commitment, but to me it just seems that every person deserves that one champion. That person that never leaves there side. For moony of us it’s a parent. For many foster youth they do not have this basic necessity.
Eight years into hosting I can truly say Tawanesha is my family. The Kidsave experience has changed both of our lives for the better. Watching Tawanesha persevere through obstacles has been the most fulfilling experience ever.