Haley feels like she’s been given a new lease on life even as she lists the risk factors she faces: early pregnancy, reduced educational achievement, low income, homelessness. “I am so grateful for Great Expectations. I don’t want to be another foster care statistic,” she says.
Haley left her birth home at age 3 and moved between twelve different foster families and a group home before she was finally adopted at age 17. “You don’t feel like you can trust anyone after that. I just wanted to walk away from school forever because it had been such a bad experience. Then I met Coach Jayne.”
Coach Jayne Stamper kept in touch with Haley after she finished high school. “Jayne was the one person who told me I was meant to be something. We would talk about my future and eventually she helped me sign up for college placement tests and financial aid.” As a second-year student at Mountain Empire Community College, Haley is on track to earn her associate Degree in Criminal Justice. Not only is she planning to continue with a bachelors degree in Counseling, but Haley has also emerged as a vocal advocate for foster youth in Virginia. She travels around the state to share her experience of healing and recovery with other foster kids. “Great Expectations has changed my life. I am moving forward, I’ve made friends I never would have had, and I’m grateful for all of it. I hope this program grows everywhere.”