GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – As soon as a child is 16-years-old, it can become very difficult to find them an adoptive family, according to adoption case managers. As FOX 17 News continues to help foster youth in West Michigan find a loving forever home, we are re-introducing you to Tommy, a very educated 15-year-old.
We first featured Tommy in January, but he still needs an adoptive family.
Tommy is an extremely intelligent teenager: he has the highest grade-point-average in his class, and is focused on graduating from college. But he is just as focused on helping others.
Tommy plans to start a non-profit organization to help foster youth like him find an adoptive home.
“I want to help other people to not have to go through what I had to go through,” said Tommy.
It’s heartbreaking to meet a person this caring and hard-working, and then understand he has spent his entire life in the foster system—since he was one-month-old.
“I wake up every day, and when we do devotions before we eat every single meal, I always say I’m thankful for the people who are there, and that I have a place to stay,” said Tommy. “There was no place for a long time that would take me because of my disability.”
But he’s resilient. Tommy has the highest grades on his campus. Wednesday afternoon it was easy to see that he loves to learn, just by watching how enamored Tommy was with the history at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
Tommy is determined to start a non-profit organization called, Connected Care.
“I’m trying to start a non-profit organization called, Connected Care, because I went through some of these issues,” explained Tommy. “Not only is hard enough to find foster children a home, but it’s even harder to find kids like me with disabilities, foster homes because of all the issues we face.”
Tommy is working with his Case Manager Elizabeth Masteller to get his non-profit off the ground. Masteller said Tommy has his mission statement, objectives, and goals written; and now they are working on his branding.
But ultimately, Tommy wants to find himself, and other teens like him, a forever home.
“Tommy is very caring, he’s very compassionate,” said Masteller. “He has a huge heart, and I think he wants nothing more than a loving, caring family, because that’s exactly who he is. That’s exactly the type of person that he’s grown to become.”
He is a kind-hearted and smart young man.
Tommy told FOX 17 News that he strives to go to the New York Film Academy, then work as a producer in the future. For now though, he is driven to start his non-profit.
Again, Tommy has been in the foster system since he’s been one-month-old, and we hope to help find him a loving family.
If you would like to adopt Tommy, please call Orchards Children’s Services at 1-855-694-7301.