Moseline Frank, a Lynn English Class of 2010 graduate, credits the Youth Villages Massachusetts Transitional Living [TL] Program for helping her on the path to graduation and continuing to point her life in a positive direction.
The Youth Villages TL program helps former foster youth between the ages of 17-22 make a successful transition to independent adulthood.
“I was on a path to destruction,” said Frank, 19, who started in the program in December, 2009, and is currently a full-time student at North Shore Community College in Lynn.
Frank had been in the foster care system but wasn’t happy with her situation at home and decided to reach out to another agency for assistance.
“I looked for another organization that could help and I learned about Youth Villages,” said Frank. “I got to meet them and they seemed like very good people.”
Frank first met Andy Wordell, regional supervisor in the program, and then connected with a Youth Villages transitional living specialist. Wordell said the Department of Children and Families had reached out to Youth Villages to see if they could provide assistance to Frank.
Frank said Youth Villages provided the guidance and support she needed at a very critical point in her life.
“Without Youth Villages, I wouldn’t have graduated from high school,” said Frank. “I met with my Youth Villages coordinator regularly and to have them there supporting me and always having my back – it was a very big step for my life.”
Matthew Stone, state manager for Youth Villages, said statistics nationally show that more than 29,000 age out of the foster care system every year, “and the outcomes for this population are extremely grim – high rates of homelessness, high rates of incarceration, high rates of unemployment, and low graduation rates.
“Our program is designed to help young adults make that successful transition from being cared for, essentially in the system, in to successful independent living as an adult,” said Stone. “
Stone said the unique aspect of Youth Villages is that rather than placing foster youth in independent group homes or finding a day drop-in center for them, “our transitional living specialists actually work with the young adult in their natural environment – at their home, at their school, at their job – meeting with them at least twice a week.
“It’s real world teaching of skills and real world helping them either establish or maintain positive relationship with trusted adults helping guide them toward employment opportunities and maintain employment or helping them continue on their path in education,” said Stone.”
Frank said she intends to obtain an associate’s degree at NSCC and then pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Hotel Management.
“I’m just looking to learn – right now I’m focused on education,” said Frank. “I’m looking for an internship in the hospitality industry.”
Frank said she’ll always be grateful to Youth Villages for redirecting her life.
“The people at Youth Villages became the adult figure that I could always turn to,” said Frank. “No matter what the situation was, they were always ready to help me. I’ve had a lot of hardship in my life and went through a lot of family issues and then I met Youth Villages and they put me on the right path. They showed me the respect that I wanted and they were about their work.”
Stone said Frank is a great symbol of what Youth Villages is trying to accomplish with each youth.
“Moseline is a wonderful example of someone who has so much potential but could have slipped through the cracks without the kind of intense support our program is able to provide,” said Stone.
“That is so true,” said Frank.
(People interested in learning about Youth Villages can contact Jodie Minahan at 781-937-7913).