Grow Into You Foundation was founded in 2016. It focuses on serving teens aging out of foster care between the ages of 18-23 as they learn how to successfully live as independent young adults. The foundation will be hosting its annual gala at The Barn at Winthrop on Saturday, October 9 at 7 p.m.

The mission of Grow Into You Foundation is to provide coaching, mentoring, support and resources to individuals experiencing hardship, particularly those within and aging out of the foster care system. These services will shift perspectives, restore power and plant hope in those that need it most.

Founded in 2016, Grow Into You focuses on serving teens aging out of foster care between the ages of 18-23 as they learn how to successfully live as independent young adults.

“Our two houses are on the same street in the Brandon area,” said the foundation’s founder and lead coach, Erin NeSmith. “One house is for boys and one for girls. Both houses have an anchor family/person to provide around-the-clock support. We focus on shifting perspectives, restoring power and planting hope. When a teen leaves from an interaction with someone from Grow Into You, we want one of these things to have happened. We also celebrate all little wins, small successes along the way that teens experience. Whether it is improving their grades, having a conversation in a more healthy way, accomplishing a goal or emotionally expressing themselves, no win is too small to celebrate.”

The foundation will be hosting its annual gala at The Barn at Winthrop on Saturday, October 9 at 7 p.m.

“We will be honoring Mentors of the Year and our teens that will be growing out of Grow Into You this coming year, heading into their bright futures,” NeSmith said. “The theme is Champa Bay. Tables of eight are on sale for $280 a table or $40 per individual seat. We will have a grand prize for the best decorated table and heavy appetizers and desserts will be served. We are bringing life to the most vulnerable individuals in our society. Support from those who have resources, time and energy is much appreciated and means so much to our teens.”

Like any nonprofit, consistent monthly donors help to keep the foundation in the community serving teens.

“Donations can be set up at www.growintoyoufoundation.org/donate,” NeSmith said. “We also have a quarterly Volunteer Mentor Training where those interested in getting to know our teens and supporting them can become equipped to interact with our teens using the Grown Into You Foundation approach.”

If you would like to learn more about the Grown Into You Foundation or if you’d like to be a part of its upcoming gala, visit www.growintoyoufoundation.org.

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Libby is a writer for The Osprey Observer/The Christian Voice. She started as an intern in 2009 and upon finishing her internship, she was asked to stay on as a permanent writer for both papers. Libby lives in Brandon with her two rescue dogs, Olive and Bogey.