a Priceless Jewell

Youth impacted by foster care find support with Under One Sky Village Foundation – Amazing!

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Under One Sky Village Journey Camp is a leading example of the kind of love, dedication, and commitment foster youth need especially those aging out of the foster care system.  Providing children in foster care with he journey experience that includes seasonal camps, adoption, preparation and independent living programs. Unfortunately many foster youth are too old for adoption and age out of the foster care system at 18 with limited to no resources.  Aging out means at 18 the state is no longer obligated to support foster youth, you’re on your own.  Having no family to turn to and not enough of these type of programs aiding them with the guidance they need, far too often our youth have a very grim future.  It is amazing to see that Under One Sky Village Journey Camp is changing one life at a time.  a #PricelessJewell

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Farrah Gillie defied the odds of growing up in the foster care system and enrolled as a freshman at Western Carolina University last August. Gillie spent two summers with Under One Sky, which strives to serve youth in foster care with a continuum of services encouraging emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual growth.

Despite feelings of isolation, Gillie didn’t do it by herself.

At 17 she was adopted in 2015 by one of her foster families, two social workers who allowed her the space she needed to build their trust and see them as parents.

She also has a community of peers cheering her on. This summer Gillie spent time at the Under One Sky Village Foundation’s Journey Camp as a counselor in training. The small nonprofit uses the Lutheridge Camp and Conference Center in Arden for its programming.

“I know I can always come back here,” she said, as she relaxed outside of Bishoff Lodge, a gathering place for the youth.

Maintaining friendships was especially hard, Gillie added. Foster kids are frequently moved and until recently it wasn’t easy for them to participate in extracurricular activities.

“When you are in foster care, it’s not like no one cares enough to teach you, it’s just like they feel you already know,” Gillie said.

Under One Sky helped Gillie maintain a sense of stability and family, she said. It showed her practical things like how to apply for financial aid for college and how to take care of her car.

Most importantly, it helped her become a better friend. “I call people on their birthdays now,” she said. “I care about these people. I want to keep in touch with them and want them to keep in touch with me. I love them.”

Source shared: Citizen Times

I adore the fact that staff is made up of teachers, artists, former youth in foster care. We also have professional chefs, farmers, carpenters, actors and more! Camp staff are trained every year to provide consistent and expert programming and mentorship for youth in foster care.

Congratulation Farrah Gillie, you truly are a #PricelessJewell

For more information about the Under One Sky Village Foundation, visit www.under1sky.org.The organization is in need of financial resources to sustain its expanding programs and reach more children. Donations can be made online or by mailing a check to:Under One sky Village Foundation, PO Box 18526, Asheville NC 28814.

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