Graduation is bittersweet for seniors in our residential program. It’s a time of celebration and a time of anticipation, a time of reflection, and a time of change.

And thanks to friends like you, high school seniors at Thornwell have the option to transition to our independent living program. As part of this program, they continue to receive housing, support, and love as they attend college classes and join the workforce. Abby and Kourtney, two graduating seniors on campus in Clinton, SC, are especially thankful for this opportunity.

Thornwell represents healing, family, and preparation for life after graduation for Abby.

Since graduating in December, she’s been working hard to get herself ready for what’s next.

“I’ve learned how to manage my money and pay bills,” she said when sharing about life skills training. “I didn’t like it at first, but now I see how much it will help me.”

Kourtney has grown into a leader in his cottage, in his workplace, and in his community. “I know the younger kids look up to me, and I take that seriously.”

He’s working two jobs this summer. He’s even been promoted to manager!

Thornwell not only gave him the space to be a kid but also the opportunity to grow into the kind of man he wants to be.

“I’ve learned to make better choices and I understand the way I live matters to others.”

Kourtney and Abby both plan to pursue higher education and careers of service. Kourtney wants to be an RN. You would be inspired by his desire to care for others.

Given the chance to spend time with Abby, you would instantly sense she’s a nurturer and caregiver. She hopes to explore nursing or maybe a vet tech program. She is also an active volunteer at a local nursing home with her cottage family and serves as part of Thornwell’s Strengthening Families program.

This summer, all the seniors are soaking up a bit more fun before taking these next steps toward adulthood. Your kindness and support allow our kids to be kids. They will go to Carowinds, frequent the pool, and experience life-changes at camp. As you can imagine, it’s special for them to experience the joy life has to offer and not just its brokenness.

With only a 50% graduation rate, high-school dropout rates are 3 times higher for foster youth than other low-income children.

Because you care, Abby and Kourtney have bright futures and will make an impact in this world. What we do to support these kids really matters. Abby shared, “I only have Thornwell, and Thornwell has helped me a lot.”

Thank you for myriads of ways you support to provide an environment of stability, safety, and love so that they can develop their unique gifts and identities as beloved children of God.

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