News

November 02, 2016// News

CBS and KCAL 9 aired a segment on Hope in a Suitcase and interviewed our very own Maggie Lin as part of their Making a Difference segment. Thank you to everyone who has donated items, funds, time, energy and love to helping provide comfort and support to Los Angeles’ most vulnerable youth! And special thanks to Maggie Lin and Lisa Sigell, as well as KCAL 9 and CBS for helping spread awareness about Foster Youth!

For the full interview, please click here.

September 09, 2016// News

SFV Sun – Helping Foster Youth, One Laptop at at Time

By Alex Garcia, Sun Contributing Writer

Because she didn’t own a computer, Sky Corona often relied on the ones at Los Angeles Valley College to do schoolwork.

Other times she would type her papers on her phone, and email them to herself to print out later at school.

It was never convenient.

“There’s a lot of computers at school, but sometimes you had to wait for one. If I was on the computer for a long time and there were people waiting, I felt bad about staying there too long,” the 23-year-old Van Nuys resident said.

To read the full article, please click here to visit the San Fernando Valley Sun.

September 08, 2016// News

Laptop Program Narrows Digital Divide for Foster Youth

For most adolescents, it’s not an issue; 90 percent of teens in the United States have their own laptop. However, it’s a different story for youth in foster care. “We live in an increasingly digital world and the divide between those with internet access and those without is getting smaller,” said Jeremy Goldbach, an assistant professor at the USC School of Social Work. “But kids in the foster care system are still being left out.”

Less than 20 percent of foster youth own a computer, with even lower rates in rural counties throughout California. That disparity might play a role in higher dropout rates, less success on the high school exit exam and lower rates of college graduation among foster youth. That’s where iFoster enters the picture. The California-based nonprofit launched an innovative program in 2012 after its founder, Serita Cox, kept hearing from teens and caregivers that not having access to a computer is a common challenge.

To keep reading, please click here to view the whole Hamovitch PI, Fall 2016.

August 12, 2016// News

San Fernando Valley Sun Celebrates “One Laptop”

By Alex Garcia, Sun Contributing Writer

Because she didn’t own a computer, Sky Corona often relied on the ones at Los Angeles Valley College to do schoolwork.  Other times she would type her papers on her phone, and email them to herself to print out later at school.  It was never convenient.

“There’s a lot of computers at school, but sometimes you had to wait for one. If I was on the computer for a long time and there were people waiting, I felt bad about staying there too long,” the 23-year-old Van Nuys resident said.

For most young people, owning a computer is like owning a pair of shoes. But for those who grow up in foster care, that’s not always the case.  Research shows that less than 20 percent of foster care youth own a computer, compared to 90 percent of teens overall in the US.

Corona, works full time, attends Valley College full time, and was a foster youth. She grew up in Orange County, and has been part of the foster home system for most of her life.

“The first time was at the age of 3, and it was in and out until [she became] 18,” she said. “My mom was a single mother and she just ran into a couple of issues where she wasn’t right, she was abusive at times. She wasn’t able to raise me and I went through several foster homes.

“The homes were horrible in LA County. I later went into Orange County, which was a little better,” she added.

When Corona was 16, she found her father with the help of a social worker. She went to live with him for her senior year in high school.  Things didn’t work out, however. After graduating from high school, Corona moved to Orange County and started working and living with friends. Now she has her own apartment and is making it on her own.

She’s attended Los Angeles Valley College for two years, and plans to eventually transfer to California State University Northridge (CSUN) or USC to study business marketing.

But not having her own computer was always a problem. And Corona lives on a strict budget, which doesn’t leave room for many luxuries.  Now she is getting some needed help.

Corona is in the Guardian Scholar Program, which offers assistance to foster youth in colleges. Through it she learned about the iFoster and Foster Care Counts, two California nonprofits that provide laptops to teens in the foster care system.

(more…)

August 01, 2016// News

Foster Youth in One Laptop Profiled in KQED

Reporter Tena Rubio of KQED spent time with youth and the Founder of iFoster.  The momentum would not have been possible without the efforts of many, including the #HackFosterCare.  The full story is here: KQED – Helping Foster Kids Succeed, One Laptop at a Time