Students Who are Phasing Up

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a Phasing Up program to offer new possibilities to a young adult phasing out of foster care.

While gravely aware of the growing number of at-risk youth who are phasing out due to the age restrictions of the foster care system, JCSU is excited, encouraged and impassioned with the development of this special initiative. We and our collaborative partners are implementing a program unlike anywhere else in the nation that will serve a population in great need to remove the barriers and change lives.

Victor Lopez

At age seven, Victor Lopez entered the foster care system and moved from family to family for the next five years until he found what he refers to as the “right home” for him. Doing well in school, Victor recalls that going to college was never an “if.”

Jockuela Ballard-Ross '13

Jockuela Ballard-Ross has a lot to cheer about. Removed from her mother’s care at age 10, her grandmother became her foster parent. Active in cheerleadering with the San Francisco Brown Bombers, a Pop Warner non-profit organization serving area youth, Jockuela’s cheerleading coach and her husband provided a home for her six years later, after her grandmother suffered a stroke.

Louisa Taylor '14

Louisa Taylor’s love for music was formed at an early age when she began composing songs in the sixth grade. The JCSU sophomore is continuing on that path as a music business major with aspirations of becoming a gospel recording artist and business woman.

Danyell Mitchell '15

For sophomore Danyell Mitchell, college was not always an option. As a youth growing up in foster care in Cleveland, Ohio, she had little or no guidance about how to get into college, let alone pay for it. Even the application process proved daunting.  “College was not an option in my head because I knew I couldn’t afford it,” said Mitchell.  But in the back of her mind was a nagging desire to become the first in her family to attend.