Giving Older Foster Children a Family

by Kidsave International
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Giving Older Foster Children a Family
Giving Older Foster Children a Family
Giving Older Foster Children a Family
Jan 23, 2023

Determination that just might lead to the Olympics

Jesus and Grant enjoy a sports event together
Jesus and Grant enjoy a sports event together

Grant and Jesus met in 2016 through Kidsave’s Weekend Miracles program. Two years later Grant adopted Jesus. “We met pre-pandemic,” says Grant, “and it was an immediate connection.” Their bond has only grown with each passing year.

Two years ago, Jesus was in his second year of college with dreams of someday competing in the Olympics. We caught up with Grant to get an update on Jesus and hear about his college journey and the challenges he faced during COVID.

When Jesus was in high school, college was not a dream that felt attainable. After all, only 3-4% of former kids in foster care graduate from a four-year university. “For a lot of the kids growing up in foster care, college feels like an unrealistic goal,” says Grant. Despite that being the case, Grant’s confidence in Jesus was unwavering. “He was interested in enlisting in the military, which is an honorable profession,” says Grant. “However, I wanted him to open his horizons and let him know that he had other options.”

After his placement with Grant, Jesus worked hard to get caught up on his high school credits and joined his school’s track, cross country and football teams. “He’d been moved around so much, been to so many schools, that he was behind in the classes needed to get into college,” says Grant. “But he was dedicated.” Jesus took summer school classes, and joining the sports teams helped him maintain the discipline necessary to succeed. “He got plenty of help from his high school coaches and teammates,” says Grant. By the time Jesus was ready to graduate, he had new dreams for himself: to graduate college and to train to qualify for the Olympics.

“When Jesus was first asked to be on the track team, he was one of the fastest runners on his football team and the track coach took notice,” says Grant. “At first, Jesus said ‘oh, no, no, I don’t want to run; but now he loves it so much, he wants to qualify for the Olympic team.” Grant is passionate about supporting all of Jesus’ dreams, and this is no exception. As much as Grant believes in Jesus, he’s also inspired by his son’s determination and grit.

As Jesus was preparing to enter college, the pair faced some new challenges and fears. “At first, he was really hesitant about moving out and living in the dorms, and he wanted to go to a college just down the road,” says Grant. But, thinking of strengthening his son’s sense of self, Grant made a wise suggestion. “I wanted to push him to go a little farther, not too far, where he’d feel alone, but far enough so he could live on campus and gain more independence.” Together, they decided on Cal State LA.

The decision was a bit nerve-wracking for Jesus, who was only a few years into his newfound stability with his dad. But, before long, he was thriving. “He’d call me and come visit on occasion the first year. He was spreading his wings and getting out of the kiddie pool, into the adult pool… and then COVID hit,” Grant says. By now, we’re all familiar with the many ways in which COVID has impacted lives. For Jesus, it put a pause on his typical college experience, but it also changed his NCAA eligibility schedule.

“Because of COVID, he didn’t have his freshman and sophomore year of track,” says Grant. Due to COVID, Jesus completed his freshman spring semester and entire sophomore year of college from home, but that didn’t deter his dreams.

When Cal State LA welcomed students back to the campus, Jesus went right back to the track field. “You get four years of eligibility with the NCAA, the governing body of all college sports,” said Grant. “Jesus’ junior and senior year will now count for years one and two in track.” After he graduates in May 2023, Jesus will still have two years' eligibility with the NCAA, so he is looking to continue his college education and pursue a master’s degree, while still competing at the colligate level in track.  Completing graduate school is a great accomplishment for anyone, but for a young man who grew up in foster care, it is nothing short of amazing.

And, after qualifying and competing at the Division II NCAA National Track Championships last spring, Jesus and his teammates ended up placing 9th in the entire nation in the 4×400 relay. Like Grant, we are so proud of all Jesus has already accomplished, and we can’t wait to see what his future holds.

Jesus and Grant pose at home.
Jesus and Grant pose at home.


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Organization Information

Kidsave International

Location: Culver City, CA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Kidsave_Intl
Project Leader:
Lauren Gordon
Culver City, CA United States
$13,667 raised of $25,000 goal
263 donations
$11,333 to go
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