Monthly Archives: March 2022

Young mother overcomes all odds to secure a bright future for herself

Naysha (20) hasn’t had an easy life. She was in and out of foster care as a child, her brother was murdered, and she became a mom at 15. 

Despite her complicated circumstances, she was committed to staying in school and being an incredible mom. 

In the past few years, Naysha graduated high school as a Valedictorian, received a scholarship to Rutgers. A few months into her college journey, however, she hit a few more hurdles — a wait list to her desired program at Rutgers, homelessness and a lack of support from family and friends. 

Naysha got in touch with Children’s Aid and Family Services (CAFS) and has been receiving support from their Mobility Mentoring program and her mentor Tisha Mender, who helps Naysha set achievable goals and objectives. Mobility Mentoring also provided Naysha with a laptop, a scholarship, and assistance with purchasing school uniforms.

Over the years, the agency has also provided extra support to Naysha’s child Kameron. CAF’s Baby Basics program has provided diapers, wipes, baby clothes, and holiday gifts for Kameron. 

Naysha is poised to build a brighter future. We are so proud of you, Naysha! And we are so honored to be contributing to the work of CAFS

A lifelong friendship that began with kindness

Ms. Etta Sample and Bruce Castro met each other at the YCS Laurie Haven group home. Bruce had just come from a series of failed foster home placements. At such a young age, he was already fraught with many painful memories.

One he recalls, was when his mother promised to visit him for his birthday. In anticipation, he waited and waited for her but she never showed up. He was devastated.

A few years later, history repeated itself when his mother failed to make an appearance on his birthday once more. But this time, he had Ms. Sample on his side.

Bruce vividly remembers how Ms. Sample later confronted his mom at a family conference.

Ms. Sample also fought to keep Bruce at Laurie Haven till they could find the right foster home for him.

To this day, Bruce has never forgotten his appreciation for Ms. Sample. Every year, he calls to wish her a Merry Christmas. It’s a call that she herself always looks forward to receiving.

Give children the home and the love that they deserve when you donate to the Holiday Fund. Your gift supports the Youth Consultation Services and its group homes for the most vulnerable children in our communities. Help now at

Mature worker begins a new career in spite of health challenges

Armed with a good attitude and the right opportunities, Beth was able to turn her life around.

The Mature Worker Program offered by ULEC set Beth up to take GED, computer skills and security training classes.

Thanks to that, Beth gained the skills necessary to let the working world value her.

The human resources director at her new job summed it up perfectly: “She has proven to be a valuable staff member… She has great human relations skills, is dependable, punctual and a team player.”

You can help displaced and older workers find their place in the world again. When you support the Holiday Fund, a portion of the proceeds goes to ULEC and their Mature Workers Program.

Visit us at to learn more.