BROOKLYN – You Gotta Believe is a local nonprofit focused on finding permanent families for young adults, teens and pre-teens in the foster care system.
Executive director Mary Keane is the reason Rey Santiago has someone to call dad.
Keane says the nonprofit helps teens and young adults, often seen as the most unadoptable in the foster care system find their forever homes.
“We get people to meet the kids and learn about them, and then they learn about older kids who were adopted,” says Keane.
Paul Brown was part of the program, and it led him to adopting Santiago at age 13.
Keane says older children in the foster care system are often left to fend for themselves, aging out of the system.
“And they were expected to just survive you know on their own,” says Keane.
Keane says You Gotta Believe fills that void, offering resources like regular support from social workers, all for parents to stick with teens through the rough patches and into adulthood.