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Events to honor our youth!

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Jessica, loving mom, opening doors for herself and her family!

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Raquel, one of Hope Forward's shining stars, formerly in foster care for 4 years, confidently becoming independent!

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Open Society Fellow, Emily-Schappi-Fuller, Fostering Second Chances Program Coordinator

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Hope Forward's Director of Programs for Prince George's County, Denise Joseph

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Santa's Elves (aka The Foundry Church Baltimore) decorating our transitional houses!

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Donations, generous seasonal home and personal care product gifts pour in for the holidays!

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Brittany, featured youth speaker at gala "Hope Under the Stars", May 2014, shares a moment with Shalita O'Neale

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Shantel Randolph, Hope Forward's Deputy Director, assisting Baltimore's former foster youth at Project Homeless Connect

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Hope Forward, Inc. (formerly the Maryland Foster Youth Resource Center) aids current and former foster youth with life skills and resources.

Meet our Executive and Outreach Staff:

Shalita O’Neale, Hope Forward's Executive Director, is a former foster youth from Baltimore, Maryland, where she spent 19 years collectively in kinship and foster care. She entered kinship care at the age of 2, bouncing back and forth among family members before officially entering foster care at 13. Shalita was then placed with foster families and later placed in a group home before entering college. She graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with a BA in criminology in 2004 and a Master of Social Work at the University of Maryland Baltimore in 2014.

Shalita addresses numerous seminars, conferences and workshops on the foster care experience. She feels that it is the responsibility of able former foster youth, the government to whom foster children belong, and the society in which they are expected to live, to ensure they receive life skills, resources, and support enabling them to become successful and contributing members of society.

Shantel Randolph, Deputy Director, is also a former foster youth who aged-out of Baltimore City’s foster care system at 21. In 2007, Shantel was awarded the Open Society Institute (OSI) Community Fellowship to begin work with Foster Youth Inc. (FYI). Shantel used her OSI Fellowship to help other youth in foster care to successfully advance to adulthood. They participated in FYI, which empowers foster youth to advocate for improvements to Maryland’s foster care system.

In 2009, Shantel became the Director of Youth Advocacy at MFYRC, where the FYI program now operates. Shantel’s experience has developed through forming collaborations and partnerships with other community organizations and businesses to assist foster youth with life skill trainings and advocacy. Shantel, along with FYI, made a film entitled “Youth Entering Foster Care” which can be used as an educational/advocacy tool for foster youth to learn about the court system.

Denise Joseph, Director of Programs for Hope Forward's Prince George's County office, brings an impressive background as an educator and community/youth advocate to MFYRC’s Prince George’s office.

She is a K-20 educator and a founder of a nonprofit organization, YouthPowerment, which provides life skills workshops and activities for promoting self-improvement and self-esteem.

Emily Schappi joins Hope Forward as an Open Society Institute (OSI) Baltimore Community Fellow. She aged out of the Maryland foster care system; she spent the majority of her youth in group home placements.

Currently, she holds a BS in Paralegal Studies from Stevenson University and is pursuing a law degree at the University of Maryland School of Law.

Emily has been awarded an OSI Fellowship to develop a comprehensive aftercare program to address the unique needs of systems-involved girls who are transitioning from secure placements and detention centers back into the community, the majority of whom are survivors of persistent childhood abuse or neglect and lack family support. As a result, they bear the life-long burden of healing from trauma and face significant challenges when they return to the community from placement. Without post-release support, these girls become vulnerable to more trauma and abuse, facing challenges of social isolation, addiction, depression, domestic violence, and low educational achievement. Emily understands from personal and professional experience that these young women are resilient and will break down the barriers before them, given the chance.

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Organization Information





Hope Forward, Inc. (formerly the Maryland Foster Youth Resource Center) aids current and former foster youth with life skills and resources.

EIN: 263362986

Reports: Guidestar


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