Imagine turning 18 and having no home, no family and nowhere to turn. What most of us would consider a nightmare is reality for thousands of young adults. That’s where Upbring’s BeREAL program comes in.

BeREAL serves young adults in Texas who are aging out of the foster care system. Our case managers make sure everyone has access to a home, complete with furniture and supplies, and connects them with mentors, education planning, life skills development opportunities and permanent connections to caring adults.

With a pool of resources and encouraging mentors on their side, our determined young men and women are reshaping their lives and creating brighter futures. In October, Upbring BeREAL celebrated two years of helping former foster children gain their independence.

Young adults like Melissa. When Melissa was two years old her parents died and she entered the foster care system. Now 19 years old with a two-year-old daughter of her own, Melissa knows what it’s like to feel lost and unwanted, wondering where she might finally have a place of her own to call “home” — and she is determined to create a more secure future for her daughter.

Melissa applied and was accepted to the BeREAL program where she has learned crucial life skills, such as budgeting, household maintenance and time-management — all in a safe, supportive environment for her daughter. Now Melissa is determined to go after two more significant life goals: graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and owning a home through Habitat for Humanity. Melissa is creating a new beginning for her family!

On #GivingTuesday, you have the chance to empower the aspiring young professionals we serve through the Upbring BeREAL program. And this year, because of a generous matching gift from the Merced Foundation, your donation will go twice as far!

Upbring is forever grateful to everyone who has contributed to the BeREAL program. We could not do this important work without your generosity and support. For more information about our other programs, visit Upbring.org