Let’s face it, our society runs on a network of various systems set in place to meet the needs of individuals. Unfortunately many of these systems, though well intended, are not designed to raise kids and meet their needs holistically. Because of this, the teens we work with often lose trust, give up, and let their pain drive choices and behavior. They have been in and out of detention centers, courtrooms, foster homes, shelters, different schools and so on. They are from hard places and circumstances that leave them frustrated and discouraged. They are assigned diminishing labels, misdiagnosis, unrealistic work plans and offered subpar support programs. To nobody’s surprise, there is often no real change.
We come along to support the families and communities in need. We are here to partner with these systems–to come behind them and fill in the gaps wherever necessary. Without a holistic approach to serving kids in crisis, there are many areas of needs that are left unmet. In turn, this results in deeper levels of trauma, neglect, and misunderstanding. We exist to support our teens and their families so they can understand and navigate the systems that they have become a part of. We aim to help elevate the voices of our youth and provide them with the support that your average teenager born into a different circumstance would inherently receive.
Our populations consist of foster care teens, young people emancipated from foster care with no family or support, teens living in single parent’s homes, and teens experiencing difficult life circumstances. All of our teens have one thing in common, they come from systems of inequality, generational poverty and extreme dysfunction that has prevented a way out. Found Village is the community that is changing the outcomes!
It takes a Village. For many of our children their Village isn’t handed to them, it is Found. We all have something different to offer each child and we work tirelessly to teach them about the power of finding healthy, stable, connected relationships with the people within their communities.
Many of the benefits our teens experience go beyond measure. Through being a part of this community, they are able to build assets such as learning to cook, creating budgets, and learning about work ethic to maintain stable jobs. The majority of our teens develop new hobbies that range from fitness to artistic expression. Overall, this holistic approach serves our teens on various levels, each tailored to their specific interests.
Having experienced the effects of landing in a detention center at age fifteen, Katie’s passion for supporting hard to reach youth has deep personal roots. After twelve years of working with children and teens in social services, Katie went on to find Villedge, present day Found Village.
She believes in the power of fueling healthy relationships and fostering a holistic approach that meets the individual needs of teens. Through Found Village, she has built a place driven by people who understand the value of a healthy mind, body, and spirit. People who assess the specific needs of each kid, know their individual stories, and teach them self-awareness. This criterion has laid the strong foundation of trust that Found Village is anchored on.
Katie’s college sweetheart, loving husband and fantastic father of their three adorable children, Iloba, comes from strong Nigerian roots. His story is chock full of overcoming obstacles and adversity. He welcomes opportunities to encourage young people with his story—affirming them that with information, relationships and opportunity, anyone can achieve success. (And smile, for crying out loud!)
Iloba goes beyond managing operations as he intentionally builds relationships with the youth. He is often offering a fatherly perspective on life that many of the youth have lacked access to in the past.
Important Story Notes:
First, it’s pronounced EE-LOH-BAH. And IN-ZAY-KOO. You’re welcome.