Matt has been in foster care since he was 5. He bounced from house to house, with no place to really call home. Now that he's on his own, he wants to focus on finishing high school, building some skills and finding stability.

But it was a hard transition for Matt when he first joined ACH's LIFE Project, which promotes self-confidence and self-sufficiency for youth aging out of the foster care system and young adults facing homelessness by providing independent living options and skills development. He was not very confident in himself and was even nervous walking across the ACH campus on his own. But with the Connections for LIFE mentoring program, Matt started to build confidence.

The young adults who enter the LIFE Project and join the mentoring program come from different backgrounds and circumstances. Some, like Matt, have grown up in foster care; others might have been kicked out of their homes or had difficult relationships with their families. But they have one thing in common: while they previously didn't know where to go or who to turn to, they're now living in a safe place and are on track with the futures they have planned.

And they have a great support system in place with the mentoring program. The Connections for LIFE mentoring program allows mentors and young adults to participate in group activities and events to encourage natural connections. 

More importantly, the mentoring program gives these young adults someone who cares about them just because they care and want to be there for them. Which makes a big impact on these kids. When asked what they've learned through the mentoring program, one young adult shared, "I've learned that people do love you and that people actually care about us."

Through the mentoring program and this support system, Matt is no longer afraid and now travels all over the Metroplex. He plans to meet up with friends in Dallas to catch some Pokemon. It might seem small, but it's a big step for him, one that's expanded his world. 

If you're interested in learning more about ACH's Connections for LIFE mentoring program, please contact Kate Faggella-Luby at kfaggella-luby@achservices.org or 817-566-1619.