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Non-profit launching program to help those in foster care succeed as adults

SEATTLE -- On Wednesday, the non-profit Treehouse celebrated the hard work they and our community have done to help foster children succeed. They celebrated several success stories at the event, including one young man who is multi-talented and ready to give back.

20-year-old Leroy is already planning the soundtrack to his future.

"I have so much growing to do. I'm only 20, but I am slowly, slowly and surely getting better and better at being the best person I can be. That’s all I want to do with my life is be and then impact other people," he said.

He credits Treehouse with his success. The non-profit works to improve high school graduation rates for youth in foster care.

"Leroy has used our services since he was 10, and he has gotten so prolific as a musician and as a student. He graduated high school and is attending Central Washington University so we are really proud of him," said Shaunessy Jones, Director of Community Engagement for Treehouse.

Treehouse announced a big expansion of services Wednesday at the annual Champions luncheon. The program is called 'Launch Success,' and it will support youth statewide who have experienced foster care in the past, helping them succeed beyond high school as they transition to adulthood.

"We have three goals for this program Launch Success. The first is credentials for training or a college degree. The second is getting a living wage job, and the third is stable and secure housing," said Treehouse CEO Janis Avery.

Alumni of Treehouse's graduation success program will be eligible for continued coaching and resources like securing housing, funding for school fees and job supplies and all-around support for academic and job success. Participants of Launch Success will meet with a coach to review their options and map out their plans for the future.

Leroy is so inspired by those who've helped him along the way, his goal now is to one day become a teacher.

"In 10 years the dream is to be in front of a band at 6 a.m. doing jazz. Then for the next 5 hours I'm in a math classroom, and last hour of the day I'm in a band room again," he said. "That is the dream in 10 years."

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