Raygne’s Story

Raygne has learned new skills to move forward in life

Raygne grew up in the foster care system, yet considers herself to be lucky. She was adopted at age five, while the average age of a child in foster care is nine years.

Raygne has positive childhood memories with her family in their first home in Minneapolis. Things changed when her family moved from the city to the western suburbs.

That’s when Raygne’s attitude became more negative, and she started getting into trouble. Eventually “getting into trouble” grew into a stay in juvenile detention. “I was going through a rebellious phase at 16,” she says. “Eventually I got into big trouble.”

Raygne came to Avivo for help. “I started going for the bus [fare] cards at first,” she says. “I was still in the phase of doing terrible things. I was in and out of jail, a lot.”

Becca, Raygne’s career counselor, laughs when she hears someone say they just came for a bus fare card. “I know some people initially say they’re just coming in for the bus fare card,” she says, “but I plan for that. There’s always a bigger plan, and in Raygne’s case it was about getting her to see, and believe in, what she could accomplish.”

Becca saw potential in Raygne. She used whatever it took to keep her coming in. Eventually Raygne was coming to meetings, even when she knew there weren’t any bus cards to be had.

Raygne needed someone who would support her, no matter what. Becca became that person, a counselor and a friend. Raygne found the confidence to take steps to improve her life. She studied hard for the GED and passed the exam.

“Last year was really good for me,” Raygne says. “I got my driving permit, finished construction training and got my carpentry license, and finished my first construction job.”

Raygne’s has both short-term and long-term goals. Right now she needs to buy tools, get her driver’s license, and buy a car; having reliable transportation is important to pursue a construction career.

Raygne looks forward to being financially independent. She and her partner are raising a son, and she wants him to travel and experience other cultures. “I grew up traveling,” she says. “I want him to experience what I experienced growing up. I want him to be culturally diverse.”

Raygne also wants to go to college, and is looking into scholarships and applications. “I see a lot in my future,” she says.