RTS Graduation Celebration!

By Giving List Staff   |   May 20, 2024
The Change Reaction's generous gift of $2000 to every graduating RTS Scholar as they start their careers.

On May 16, the Chief Clubhouse in Los Angeles was abuzz with excitement and inspiration as over 150 supporters, foundation partners, and graduating Scholars gathered for Ready to Succeed’s annual Graduation Celebration. This event not only marked a milestone for the Scholars but also showcased the impactful collaboration within our community. 

The morning was filled with powerful speeches, starting with the best-selling author and foster youth advocate Andrew Bridge, who delivered a keynote address. Andrew’s memoir Hope’s Boy is an unforgettable and inspiring account of his own childhood and experience in the foster care system. His forthcoming book, Child Catcher is “the true story of the fight to rescue the children confined to a violent and secretive institution in the rural South.” 

Jess Cagle, former editor in chief of People magazine and current host of the Jess Cagle show, and Chief Entertainment Anchor at SiriusXM served as the hilarious Master of Ceremonies.

One of the most poignant moments of the morning came from Tamar, a graduating Scholar whose speech moved the audience to tears. She shared her journey of overcoming preconceived notions and the critical role Ready to Succeed played in her personal and academic development. Tamar recounted her path toward college and how much she has grown. “This program has been a confidence booster, a reminder that I am more than a label or a statistic. It’s shown me that I’m not just a number; I’m a person with dreams, ambitions, and the potential to make an impact.” 

Student Speaker, Tamar

Thanks to Ready to Succeed’s partner The Change Reaction, every graduating this year will be gifted $2,000 in launch funds to help make their transition out of college a little smoother. With no familial support net, many grads still face uncertainty immediately after graduation day.  Because of your support, Ready to Succeed programming extends a full year after college. This means that former foster youth won’t be alone in their career journeys.

The Graduation Celebration was not just an event to honor the achievements of our Scholars; it was a testament to the power of community support. The presence of over 150 attendees, including dedicated foundation partners and enthusiastic supporters, underscored a collective commitment to fostering success among foster youth and first-generation college students through college and beyond. 

This year, Ready to Succeed was thrilled to present the Distinguished Honoree award to Sarah Ali of the R&S Kayne Foundation. Sarah’s leadership and insights have been fundamental to the growth of Ready to Succeed and the cohorts of first-generation college students who joined the organization starting in 2020.

As these 68 grads move on to the next chapter in their lives, Ready to Succeed is preparing to welcome over 50 rising sophomore, former foster youth into the career accelerator program.  Thank you to our supporters and attendees for ensuring the continued success of college-going foster youth.


Ready to Succeed

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(424) 453-2445
Director of Development: Frances Hardy


RTS empowers youth impacted by foster care to graduate college, launch successful careers, and reach their full potential.

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Being a Ready to Succeed scholar is a pivotal opportunity for foster youth. It truly is life changing.
Jarl Mohn
President Emeritus of NPR, RTS Supporter, and Former Foster Youth

Your Generosity Allows Students to Focus on Building their Careers

Even with college scholarships, research shows that underserved students are on average $5,000 short of being able to meet their basic needs including food, rent, and school supplies. To bridge this gap, Ready to Succeed (RTS) is starting a basic needs scholarship.

“Students often have to take on two and three jobs just to make ends meet, often preventing them from graduating college and launching a career,” says Romi Lassally, co-executive director and co-founder of RTS. “We want to give them the opportunity to think about their future, not just survive.”

When you donate today, your generosity can allow students to pay for their basic needs, propelling them one step closer to a successful career and a bright future.

$100 – Pays for one week of basic needs support

$500 – Pays for one month of basic needs support

$1,250 – Pays for three months of basic needs support

$5,000 – Pays for an entire year of basic needs support – most impactful level of support!

Key Supporters

Ric and Suzanne Kayne Foundation
ECMC Foundation
Chuck Lorre Foundation
Edward A & Ai O Shay
Family Foundation
LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl
LA County Supervisor
Holly Mitchell
Angell Foundation
Anthony & Jeanne Pritzker
Family Foundation
Aramont Charitable Foundation
Ralph M Parsons Foundation
Herbert R. and Jeanne C.
Mayer Foundation
Sam Simon Charitable
Dwight Stuart Youth Fund
Mohn Family Foundation
Department of Education
and Congressman Ted Lieu
Wurwand Foundation
The SAM Initiative