Manny’s Journey: From Foster Care to Future Barber

Your support for Foster Hope can light the path for many more foster youth like Manny, guiding them toward fulfilling and autonomous futures

Your support for Foster Hope can light the path for many more foster youth like Manny, guiding them toward fulfilling and autonomous futures.

Manny*, now 17, grew up in the foster care system and found more than just a trim at the local barber shop he frequented with his foster father. For Manny, the barber shop was a gateway to a world of male camaraderie, mentorship, and the artistry behind a great haircut. It became his sanctuary—a place where he could open up in ways he felt he couldn’t in other areas of his life.
Each visit was more than a routine; it was a lesson in the skills of the trade and the informal therapy that these spaces often provide. Manny listened to stories from men from all walks of life, absorbing wisdom and laughter. It was here, amid the buzz of clippers and the sweep of brushes, that Manny found his calling.
Inspired by the role his barber played in the community—not just grooming but genuinely caring for his clients—Manny decided to pursue a career in barbering. He saw it as his way to give back, to offer a listening ear and a supportive smile, much like what he received. However, stepping into this career path required resources for training and education—resources that were beyond Manny’s immediate reach.
The Foster Hope campaign allows young individuals like Manny to dream bigger. The funds raised through Foster Hope help foster youth cover the costs of vocational training and educational pursuits. For Manny, this meant an opportunity to enroll in barber school, equipping him with the skills needed to carve out a self-sufficient future and become a positive, contributing community member
.
Manny is now on his way to becoming a professional barber, driven by a passion ignited in a simple barber’s chair. His story shows how targeted support can transform personal interests into life-changing careers. It highlights the importance of the Foster Hope campaign in providing foster youth with the means to heal, pursue their passions, and achieve independence.
Your support for Foster Hope can light the path for many more foster youth like Manny, guiding them toward fulfilling and autonomous futures. Let’s continue to invest in their potential, one passion at a time.
* ​Names changed to protect identities.
Posted in ,

Alternative Family Services

Alternative Family Services (AFS) provides thoughtful, informed foster care, adoption and mental health services throughout California’s San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Sacramento region. Since 1978, the mission of AFS has been – and continues to be – to support vulnerable children and families in need of stability, safety and well-being in communities through foster care, adoption and mental health services.

Leave a Comment





Subscribe for Updates