Grabbing hope … A former foster youth succeeds!

On a recent morning, Jeremy awoke and began a busy day with Covenant Coffee. The destination after the 6:00am pickup by roastmaster, Isaac Dennis, was to a Cyclocross race that Jeremy would work.

Jeremy making it happen at the Covenant Coffee Booth

Jeremy is a former foster youth from Kern County and is employed with Covenant Coffee through the ACT program. At the end if January, Jeremy will complete his internship with ACT and Covenant Coffee and will become an employee!

We are thrilled to have Jeremy a part of the team at Covenant Coffee where we roast coffee “on purpose and for a purpose”. Jeremy is excelling in his ambition and follow-through with coffee sales, tracking, marketing and serving. We are also proud of Jeremy as a former foster youth that is pioneering the hope that is the reason behind the launch of Covenant Coffee … Real skills, a real job and fulfilled purpose.

Foster care takes a heavy toll on youth. Studies have shown that former foster youth have over twice the incidence rate of post traumatic stress disorder when compared to Vietnam War veterans. That, my friend, is a shocking statistic. In our work with former foster youth, foster children and foster families, we have witnessed hope transform the most bleak future and provide a life line to troubled youth.

Jeremy is one of our heroes. He has made it out of a “system” that was ill-prepared to meet his needs spiritually, emotionally, vocationally and socially. Through the partnerships in our local community between traditional and non-traditional child welfare organizations, the local church, and hope-filled individuals, Jeremy is successfully tackling life. He, more than any of us, understands our motto “hope lives here”.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Jeremy work the crowd at the Cyclocross race and serve with confidence. Jeremy is learning, growing and chasing his dreams. He is an inspiration and a testimony to all former foster youth that when you match preparation with opportunity great transformation results. It is our hope that many other former foster youth grab ahold of the hope extended and succeed in life.

2 thoughts on “Grabbing hope … A former foster youth succeeds!

  1. Yes!!! I can not adequately describe the joy I have felt meeting Jeremy and the others like him, who, because of the transformative process you have described, have hope. I remember when he was at our church, and I met him for the first time. I was so strangely moved…just hugged him so tightly, and tears were welling up. I had not met children who made it “through”, and it became an instantaneous part of a healing process for me that I did not think would ever happen.

    Though instinctively knowing Jeremy’s journey was beginning, and that healing is difficult, one thing you had on your table just sucked me right in. The sticker that says, “Hope Lives Here.”

    In the last two years, one word just became so strong for me that I had to have it tattooed on my wrist so I would remember that even if I didn’t have hope, I could still give it to others, and did every day (when I was able.) That word, of course, was HOPE. Though I thought God would never return to me, he never had left. I had left…somewhere into PTSD, and then into dark, empty space.

    Then, little things started to happen…people in my life. Don’t know how I met them. No memory of it all. Of course, God orchestrated all of it. Every detail.

    Until I saw a movie…and it started me thinking. And made me open my Bible to both the OT and NT. And talk to my therapist. And think…think….think…
    One of your staff members’ wives and I were “email” discussing some philosophical/theological/psychological topics that week before I would choose what to do. I agonized over what had been “taught” me about God when I was young, and what was the reality. Finally, after several days, I texted one night, and said, “I think I can give this one last ‘thing’ to God if…”

    Her response was the old Nike ad. “Yes..just do it.”
    So last week, or the week before? I went prostrate, gave up the hardest thing to do in my whole entire life, and surrendered, begging for forgiveness, and was immediately released to trust God again.

    “Yes…just do it.” isn’t that easy for a child who has been raised in a home where abuse and Christianity are intermingled with the word “forgiveness. I know for myself, and that it is a commonality for many survivors, emotions turn to numbness. When you grow up, if you are lucky, you learn, “Oh my gosh! I wasn’t dumb???” And then you live your life with your mind first; the heart follows. So for Christians who may be reading this, I know this seems opposite of how we come back to Christ. For most, first is an evoked emotion, then a decision.

    Some of us out there are more like Jacob who wrestled all night with the angel (God?). He came out of that with a new name, and limp that stayed with him the rest of his life. The name? Shabar-broken Broken is good; breaking keeps me up at night, but it keeps me out in the world during the day. I may actually have “lived” more like Jesus when PTSD threw me out the church doors onto the streets, where I learned that I was the “least of these”, and started crying with and hugging other “shabars.” And my intention and passion is to stay out there. May I always be Shabar.

    Why am I telling this? Because my mantra was HOPE when I had none. And I met Covenant and Jeremy, and it was the catalyst for change that I had been begging for, pleading for, rebelling against, etc., etc.

    I just got my “Share”, which was hard for me to do. It is a beloved treasure to me.
    What a gift Covenant is, and I have already told this to several of you, that I will serve wherever you want me, if you want me. Broken and used…but still able to work:)

Comments are closed.