#ItPaysToPromote: The Camellia Network

BonBon Break



We plan to do this again in 2015, so please join us then!


Amanda from Dirt & BoogersAmanda’s Choice: Camellia Network



He sits among the crowd of other graduates waiting for his name to be called to go up and get his high school diploma.  He’s proud of himself for this huge achievement.  After all, he is the first person in his family that’s actually graduated…well, that he knows of.

As he sits there, tears well up in his eyes.

For him graduation feels like the ending. He has no plans and in a few short hours he won’t even have a home anymore, not that he had much of one anyway.

He’s been moved from foster home to foster home for as long as he can remember.  He aged out a few months back when he turned 18, but they allowed him to stay with his current foster parents until he got his diploma. He was one of the lucky ones.  But after today though, he has to go.

Where?  He wasn’t sure.  He’s going to bunk up with some friends, and pray that he finds a job.

He’s scared. Scared he won’t  make it. Scared he’ll end up on the streets. He thinks to himself “why does life always have to be so hard?”

His name is called.  Congratulations! You’re on your way!

To where?

He feels so “lost”.

Every year 30,000 kids age out of the foster care system, most without any support.

At 18 years old, we tell these kids to go. Get out of the system and make something of yourself.

Sure, lots of kids are told to go. Some go off to college, others start first jobs. They set out to find their path. It’s an important time in an adolescent’s life. They try new things, they learn about the world outside of their family’s home, they take risks and learn.

But you know what most of them have that they foster care kids don’t? A safety net.

Most adolescents have a family to call when life gets hard. They have somewhere to go if they can’t make rent. They have a parents to get advice from.

Foster kids who age out are told to make it on their own, in a time of their lives when they still require a tremendous amount of support.

Here’s a bit you may not know about those 30,000 kids who age out of the system:

25% of these youth become homeless by the time they turn twenty. 25% become incarcerated. 60% have children of their own within four years, and those kids are twice as likely to be placed in foster care themselves – continuing the cycle for a future generation.” – The Camellia Network

These kids need support, so that they don’t break.

So how can we help?  How can we support those kids at a time in their lives when they need it the most?


Camellia Network harnesses the power of new technology to connect youth “aging out” of the foster care system with a community of resources, opportunities, encouragement and support. Youth have profiles on the site, giving them a place to express themselves, share their goals for the future and articulate what they need to be successful. Individuals and companies from across the country are able to collectively provide the support these young people lack by offering up doses of encouragement, career advice, professional connections, and financial support to help them navigate their way into adulthood. 

Camellia Network is just that…a network.  They not only provide funds to these young adults, but they build a community around them. They connect them with community partners who can help them with their dreams like graduating college and finding good jobs.  They surround them with support from people like you and me who can connect and help them on their journey. These kids don’t just need monetary help, but emotional help too, and we can provide that.  Through Camellia Network, we can TELL these kids that we support them.  We get to meet and see the kids that we help. We can put a face to a story.

These kids need more than just money.  They need support and a family.

The truth is, these kids are “our kids” and they need more than just a push out the door.