Colby & Charles' Story

In It for the Long Haul

Charles has been involved with our Youth Educational Success (YES) program since 2013. About six years ago, he was paired as a mentor to Colby, a youth in the program who experienced abuse at a young age (read more of his story).

After meeting, the two discovered they shared similar interests of technology, gadgets, science and engineering, and hit it off immediately. But for many of the youth in the YES program, consistency is incredibly important. They have experienced neglect or simply didn't have a trusted adult they can count on. For Charles, this meant consistently showing up and building trust with Colby over several years. Those short meetings add up and make a huge difference.

“Colby is intensely curious and always had tons of questions for me about the stock market, space travel, life, relationships and many other things,” says Charles. “As we built a rapport, the relationship grew. He knows my wife and kids and we have attended ballgames, shared dinners and have all gone camping together.”

Nationally, only about 10% of youth who spend time in foster care even attempt college. Only 3% graduate. However, Colby is currently pursuing an engineering degree at UMKC in Computer Science. Charles has been there every step of the way to help answer questions, give advice and be a positive role model in his life.

“I am so intensely proud of the grit and determination Colby has demonstrated over these last few years in the face of many challenges,” shares Charles. “I cannot say enough good things about the program, and the impact it has had on me as a mentor. If there is an adult out there that is looking to offer his/her time to a cause that can have a meaningful impact in a child’s life, I would recommend the YES program’s mentorship opportunity." 

There are many youth just like Colby who are waiting for a mentor. You, too, can change a young adult's life by becoming a mentor like Charles.