In 2013-14, Raquel successfully completed a year of college at Fletcher Technical Community College in Schriever, LA. In Spring 2015, she transferred to Central Texas Community College where she completed another year of college course work in social services. She then acquired certification as a nursing assistant. In 2017, Raquel married and now resides with her husband in Texas. Raquel gives all the glory to God!
(published with Raquel's permission/ May 2013)
Imagine starting your senior year in high school living on your own. You are very nervous because you have to rent an apartment, get a job, pay your bills, cook, clean AND attend school every day. You have to catch the city bus because you don’t own a vehicle. While most young adults rely on their parents for good advice, financial support and life skills, “aged-out” foster care teens (who have turned 18) have no one to turn to.
Raquel’s story is no different. On her 18th birthday this past September, state laws mandated that Raquel start living on her own. After being a resident in our local group home Cornerstone for almost three years, Raquel had to leave the security and comfort that the home had provided. She was just starting her senior year in high school and obviously, she had lots of anxiety about this huge transition. When the time came for Raquel to move into an apartment, community members rallied around to get furniture, kitchen and bath goods and a food pantry set up for her. The state does provide partial housing payment as long as Raquel is enrolled in school, but she has to come up with a fourth of the rent plus utilities.
Despite these hardships, Raquel has maintained a B average and works part-time at a clothing store. She rides the city bus to and from work and will do the same for college.
Raquel is enrolled for the summer semester at Fletcher Technical Community College in Schriever. Because she was born with a heart defect, Raquel knows first- hand what it’s like to go through surgery and recovery. She has had three major heart surgeries and understands the compassion it takes to help others. She has always had an interest in the medical field and her dream is to earn an associate degree in surgical technology. Those who know Raquel know that she is self-motivated and driven to become successful!
JOTS is very proud of Raquel and celebrated her graduation on May 28th, 2013!
Once again, THANK YOU for caring and GOD BLESS!
Thibodaux High School Senior 2013
RAQUEL'S STORY CONTINUES TO TOUCH MANY LIVES..................
At her graduation celebration, we announced that she would soon be receiving a BIG surprise. Yvette and Jody Dufrene, teachers at Central Lafourche High School and owners of Dufrene Driving School, graciously donated a car and free driver's ed classes to Raquel!
After Raquel's initial shock wore off, she and everyone in the room shed tears of joy! Thanks to many compassionate people, Raquel's world continues to grow and her future holds unlimited possibilities.
Dr. Ben Carson