Casa Valentina - Guiding & Supporting At-Risk Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

Jeff Reisman
Jeff Reisman ✭✭✭✭✭✭

In 2006, my mother co-founded Casa Valentina to fill a huge gap in the Miami foster care system. When kids in foster care and group homes reach age 18, many times they are just sent out into the world. Growing up in foster care unfortunately means that many never learn the life skills, social skills, and basics to navigating the adult world. They have a hard time obtaining safe and affordable housing. For many of these young adults, this is a path to homelessness, addiction, or incarceration. Casa Valentina provides these young adults with affordable housing, lessons in life skills, mentoring, and support in finding employment and further education.

I am passionate about this cause for two reasons:

The first is because my mother is passionate about it. My parents have always made a priority of changing the world for the better. I remember as a kid always being involved in some volunteer effort or another. My mother is an active member of the Casa Valentina Board of Directors, using her acumen in business, law, and negotiation to navigate the politics of Miami-Dade County in support of expanding the program's services and solvency.

The second reason is because of the type of program Casa Valentina is. This isn't a "throw money at it" endeavor. This program requires its participants to invest themselves. They work their day jobs, contribute towards their apartment rent, and take part in counseling, classes, and mentoring programs. They must also be enrolled in some form of school - high school, college, a GED program, a vocational/certificate program, etc. Casa Valentina's support ensures that they stay in school and pass their classes, making them eligible for further assistance from the State of Florida's Road to Independence scholarship. I am a firm believer that all the money in the world can't help someone who isn't invested in helping his or her own self.

Here's mom:


Jeff Reisman

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