A Trusted Connection

Legally blind and in foster care, Yanci has found support

Even in a world that has become virtual, Yanci, age 19, found the personal connection she needed in Wayfinder’s Transition Services. Yanci is legally blind and unable to read printed material. Also, she is in the process of leaving foster care without being adopted or reuniting with her biological family. With traumatic, unstable childhoods and no family guidance, life outcomes for many foster youth like Yanci can be grim: only a tiny percentage go on to college and many struggle to gain stable employment and housing.

A referral sent Yanci to Transition Services, Wayfinder’s program for youth and young adults with vision impairment. They explore careers and educational options, gain independent-living skills and increase workforce readiness. Being offered online during the pandemic, the program’s TeleTransition Virtual Trainings provide pre-employment training, small group sessions and individualized 1:1 follow-ups with instructors to ensure youth achieve their objectives.

Yanci was assigned to Wayfinder’s Diana Cortez for follow-up trainings. “She was very reserved,” Diana says. “At the beginning she wouldn’t ask me anything.” Diana wanted to help Yanci achieve her goal of employment, but Yanci wouldn’t discuss her situation. To break down the barriers, Diana had a heart-to-heart conversation with Yanci. “I can’t help you if you don’t tell me the areas you need help in,” Diana said to Yanci.

That talk made all the difference. Yanci realized someone cared. She started opening up to Diana. The young woman began to trust and to show her cheerful nature. “Yanci is very hardworking,” Diana says. “She is very considerate and thanks me for everything I do.”

Now, Yanci reaches out to Diana to solve problems. “She found a connection,” says Diana. “She found something positive.” With Diana’s help, Yanci continues to seek permanent housing and employment. But now she’s not doing it alone.



We are changing the future.

At Wayfinder Family Services, we understand the unique challenges facing some of our community’s most vulnerable youth and adults. Those with vision loss or multiple disabilities, those in foster care, those with nowhere else to turn.
We believe in the amazing potential in, and for, each and every one of them.

Join an alliance of donors to make a collective impact and together, we will turn that potential into reality. Together, we will change the future.

You can change the future of over 20,000 children and families every year by joining our Change the Future Fund.

Contact Vanessa Botshekan at (323) 295-4555 Ext 205 or vbotshekan@wayfinderfamily.org for more information.

September 2, 2020