Serenity Hunter – was just that. This shy girl with a troubled family life was searching for the calm, peace and untroubled mindset that most people enjoy. She first enrolled at Learn4Life as a foster youth with her head down low, very little self-confidence and no motivation to attend school. She had almost no support – her mom was in prison and her dad had his own struggles. This student bounced from home to home her entire life, creating so many obstacles and causing her academics to suffer. She had earned very few credits, which made her even more discouraged.

Her teacher and counselor tried and tried to help her and motivate her, but much to their great disappointment, Serenity left school. A few months later, they learned that Serenity enrolled at another of our locations and was back in school, doing well and interested in dual enrollment at Chaffey College!

Thankfully, Serenity understood that to be successful she needed a high school diploma. She is currently living with her godparents who made an agreement with her. They told her since she is over 18, she needed to either get a job and pay rent or finish school. She decided school was her “rent” and made it a priority. They supported her and remained in contact with her teacher daily.

This student exemplifies the definition of “grit.” She stuck with it and never gave up. She had some bumps along the road but overcame and persevered! She is grateful for the emotional support and encouragement that went above and beyond schoolwork from her teachers and counselors at both locations. “I believed in myself and when I got my diploma, it was one of the greatest feelings in the world.” Serenity said. “I encourage other students to push themselves and not give up on their education, despite the daily challenges.”

Now, she’s applying to Chaffey College and wants to become a mentor for other students who are struggling. She said the most important thing for foster youths to remember is to never quit: “Prove to everyone that you can and will be something.”

May is National Foster Care Month, dedicated to bringing awareness that foster care is a support to families – not a substitute for parents. Learn more.

Written By:
Ann Abajian
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