Jacob's Story

Jacob's Story

Jacob’s Story: Building a Future

If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” Our Pathways Transitional Living and Build Trybe programs align beautifully with this sentiment, teaching teens and young adults lifelong skills to build a future.

Jacob Day knows what it is like to be unsettled. Growing up, his family moved from town to town, and when Jacob was 15, he went into foster care. After a brief stay with the foster family, he went to live with his grandmother, and things were going well. But when Jacob was close to graduating high school, his grandmother’s health declined, and she couldn’t care for him any longer. Still in state custody, Jacob was placed in two more foster homes before entering our Pathways Transitional Living Program.

At Pathways, our team provides Jacob with support, guidance, case management, and an apartment of his own. Jacob is learning valuable life skills as he learns to live independently. It was through Pathways where Jacob connected with our Build Trybe program.

Build Trybe is a mentorship community empowering youth who lack a stable support system with employable skills. Our team of trade experts and community partners introduce and connect youth to skill-based career paths: culinary, building trades, horticulture, and landscaping.

Initially, Jacob began learning about horticulture while working on a community farm in partnership with Cultivate KC. He spent time weeding, mulching, gardening, and discovered he enjoyed having a green thumb. Over time, he moved into building trades, where his enthusiasm, work ethic, and skill led him to the path he is on today.

Jacob joined the building trades program to study metalworking, woodworking, installation, and finish work, and he joined “Emerging Builders” as a lead apprentice. “Jacob is a great young man with an awesome sense of humor,” said  Build Trybe Director Theo Bunch. “He’s wonderful with others and not shy of working hard.”

Now 20 years old, Jacob works for Sorella Group, a local Kansas City contracting company. They do builds and installs for everything from sports stadiums to airports. Jacob works full-time installing bathroom fixtures.

“It’s a pretty cool job,” he said. “I appreciate the opportunity to earn an income that will help me establish my independence.”

Jacob plans to continue on his path, developing his skills and learning more each day. His goal is to save enough money to purchase a car and insurance. Once accomplished, he plans to move out of his Pathways apartment and get an apartment on his own.

The powerful combination of our Pathways and Build Trybe programs provide young adults with resiliency, guidance, and a path to successful independence. Jacob plans to continue supporting Build Trybe by volunteering at the program’s “Maker’s Village”. The future looks hopeful when you find yourself supported at home and on a career path that’s both fulfilling and provides financial security.

Learn more about our Pathways and Build Trybe programs.

More than 23,000 children age out of the U.S. foster care system every year. There are well-documented statistics on the challenges and perils for young adults aging out of foster care, such as:
•   Less than 3% earn a college degree at any point in their life.
•    20% will become instantly homeless.
•    81% experience food insecurity.
•    Between 60%–90% of those rescued from human trafficking come from the foster care system.
•    Only 1 out of every 2 will have some form of gainful employment by the age of 24.
•    7 out of 10 girls will become pregnant before the age of 21.