BeREAL (Ready Educated Accomplished Leaders) is a program for Louisiana’s foster youth in transition, a project of Lutheran Social Services of the South (LSS) and the Louisiana Dept. of Children and Family Services. The BeREAL program is located in New Orleans in the gymnasium of the former Bethlehem Children’s Center, a casualty of Hurricane Katrina.
Of the 1,700 teens in Louisiana’s foster care system:
- Only half will graduate from high school.
- One in four will be incarcerated within the first two years after they leave the system.
- Over one-fifth will become homeless at some time after age 18.
- Less than three percent earn their college degrees, compared with 28 percent of the general population.
A REAL Need
BeREAL provides transition services for youth ages 13-25 aging out of Louisiana’s foster care system, to help them succeed as they make the transition to college and the next chapters of their lives. Historically and statistically, these youth face a bleak future without support, life skills, and permanent connections. BeREAL was created to bridge this gap.
A REAL Opportunity
Teens in foster care in Louisiana can apply for the BeREAL program. Once accepted, each youth will develop a plan and work to achieve specific education and career goals.
Become a Sponsor or Volunteer
You can make a REAL difference in the lives of BeREAL youth and help them achieve their dreams by sponsoring and/or mentoring. Financial contributions cover needs and necessities such as laptops, college fees, books, food or care packages. Mentors and tutors help directly one-on-one and where most needed.
Whether you are able to give money or time, your gift can transform the lives of our youth and level the playing field. With your help, more teens in foster care can experience the hopeful future the BeREAL program offers…the future they deserve.