A mentoring program is stepping in to offer a trusted person that will stop the next child from becoming a statistic.
Mentor Erin Smith was adopted and knew she could relate to what 19-year-old Mandy was going through.
"I feel really lucky to be matched with Mandy. She's pretty easy going. We have fun hanging out. It's been a good experience," said Smith.
They were matched as part of the YES Mentoring Program through Partnerships for Children. It was the first time in Mandy's life she could trust someone.
"My life, no one was in my life. With her being there I feel accepted. I have someone to talk to and go to," said Mandy.
Each fall and winter, 10-15 mentors and mentees are matched to help provide life skills and stability for foster children aging out of the system.
"A lot of these kiddos don't have that one consistent person they can count on," said program director Erin Argue.
Erin and Mandy talk each week and see each other twice a month to work on goal setting and helping Mandy build a positive future. The high school senior wants to build a shoe business, just like her mother and grandmother in her home country of Nigeria.
"It was scary. I missed my family but along the way, I have come to the realization," said Mandy.
"That you are strong," said Central Texas News Now Anchor Lindsay Liepman.
"Yes," Mandy said.
And now Mandy doesn't have to face her future alone.
"Have someone that you know is there for you," said Mandy.
To learn more visit the YES Mentor Program page on their website. "Forever Families" airs every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. on Central Texas News Now.
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