Sarah Todd, Director of Operations/Co-President, Well Rooted
Family Focus Media is proud to recognize Sarah Todd with a Women of Influence award.
As a Foster Parent, Sarah was able to experience first hand the obstacles that Foster Families face. Little support is given to foster families and foster children while they are in the system, and even less once teens age out of it. While working with the organization, Fostering Hope, Sarah was able to work with Young Adults aging out and get to see up close the obstacles they also face. Sarah partnered up with a friend and fellow Foster Parent to create Well Rooted where they offer programs like Mentorship for Young Adults. Sarah’s background is in insurance but knew she was called to do this work. She is learning along the way and has many people working alongside her to provide the necessary guidance to fuel her passion.
The entire mission of Well Rooted is to support members of our community that many don’t give a second thought to. The feedback they receive from so many people is that they never really thought about the foster system or how it works. Sarah shared, “These kids are all of our future and bringing awareness for their success, and our community as a whole, is one of our goals. Many of the kids that enter the system are a perpetuation of generational trauma. Let’s break the cycle.” When teens age out of the foster care system they are often placed into Section 8 housing with little to no personal belongings. The housing may not even contain all of the necessary appliances one would need to survive. The teens arrive at their new home, with mostly just the clothes on their backs, and must find a way to provide for themselves. This is where the Mentorship for Young Adults program really works hard to provide immediate needs like basic apartment supplies, mental health services, a wishlist for employment or education related items, personal growth experiences, etc.
Sarah tells us that all of Well Rooted is one big risk! With little experience in non profit work, putting her own career on the back-burner to grow the organization, and learning along the way Sarah has risked a lot in order to help provide support for the young adults in her programs. Sarah shares a success story about a teenager in her program who was able to get into college, work full time, and really become a part of her family. He attends church with them, shares family meals, and they’ve been able to guide him in the areas of finances, nutrition, and become an extended family for him for both the mundane and the big things in life. Well Rooted is not a one size fits all program, they tailor everything they do to the needs of the person they are working with. They want to look at everyone’s strengths and weaknesses, what their passions are, and how they can use these to move forward and nurture these abilities into something that brings fulfillment.