Ashley Fiala yoga practice with daughter

Ashley Fiala

I am a mom, wife and a yoga teacher who believes seva (service to others) is an essential piece of a vibrant, healthy, and happy community.

When Ryan asked me to be a part of Foster for Life, it was an easy thing to say yes to. Young adults who have a supportive community contribute to the world with fresh, new, and exciting perspectives. They keep us evolving and challenge the status quo. Unfortunately, children who have been raised in the foster system typically lack the support needed to flourish as they navigate adulthood.

It seems absurd to me that with so many resources in our country, these young adults fall through the cracks. It has been proven that when you look at an object, it changes; and what you observe continues to expand. We can “see” these young adults, nurture their gifts, be there to listen, and help them find the resources that will aid in cultivating a fulfilling life.

Ryan Newby and family, Foster for Life Director

Ryan Newby

The memories of the people in my life that I share a genuine connection with is my most treasured resource. These memories drive my sense of well being and set the foundation for my happy life.

I see the potential for happiness in everyone, but especially for kids because they are wide-eyed and eager for it.  It’s their default setting when treated with respect and kindness. Seemingly insignificant experiences in my life have amounted to major turning points, and because of this, I take the responsibility of being one of those experiences for a kid very seriously.

I want to help aging out foster kids because I care for them, I know they have the potential for happiness and a happy life is to be revered. It’s a life wrapped in love and kindness, connection and joy; it’s a successful life by any measure.

Amy Gregg, Foster for Life Director, and family

Amy Gregg

I love going beyond my own experience to gain understanding and expand compassion for others in life. I am driven to stretch my thought process to accept new concepts and ideas to learn possibilities outside of my imagination and life experience.

Lending an ear, living acceptingly, and helping to create opportunities for others is my ultimate life goal, so serving children who are aging out of foster care is an honor.

Children have boundless possibilities, but those possibilities can be stunted in the face of uncertainty and unknowing. The offer of love, acceptance, authenticity, joy, flexibility, laughter and gratitude will provide a path of wellbeing that each of us seeks and hopes to fulfill.

May we all see the uniqueness of each other and celebrate a joyous and fulfilling future.

Jon Chandler harvesting basil

Jon Chandler

The long and the short of it is; I want to change the world.

I can pull from my own experience of molestation, emancipation, as a combat wounded infantry Marine, trials, and tribulations in legal la-la-land, and as an individual with a passion for philosophy, farming, and at some time in the future wanting to express all that in art and in a media yet to be figured out.

Only the wounded healer heals, and our target demographic is as statistics indicate a near mortally wounded populace. Any effort here to turn around those statistics has the potential to build an army of new healers who can relate like no other to the demographic we at Foster for Life intend to help.

I believe we can become a national level tour de force in building community and by one young person at a time influence to make our communities more peaceful and our relationships more meaningful.

Jeff Bogard hiking in San Francisco

Jeff Bogard

As most in our society, I was not fully educated on the difficulties facing today’s foster youth until a friend and his wife adopted a foster child.

He started sharing some eye-popping stats on the struggles of foster youth and the unique challenges they face attempting to integrate as young adults, many with no real support system in place.

The foster care system promises kids safety, family and home. What happens after the foster care system though when all of it goes away?

As a society, we can and should do more to not just abandon these kids after they “age out” of foster care.