5 years ago, our family took in a young man, GeQwan, who was homeless after aging out of the foster care system. He was struggling to navigate life independently, left without resources or a way to provide for himself.
After he moved in, we learned he was an incredibly talented chef and wanted to own his own business. Though he had great skill and abilities in the area of cooking, the business side of things wasn’t something he was able to do on his own. I wanted to help him find a way he could make money to become independent by using his incredible skills.
We tried all kinds of things and finally came up with the idea of selling his amazing seasoning blends. This not only created income for him, but also made him feel seen and supported by the community. Because of his generous supporters who buy his spices, he is now living independently.
I loved working with him, and I knew there had to be a lot more youth in Dream Makers who are talented, but just need an opportunity to help create a product, market it, and sell it to generate needed income and valuable work experience.
Market 18 was born out of a place with a heart to help support former foster youth and to raise awareness about these incredible human beings who are not only survivors, but talented artists. Consider purchasing a gift for your loved ones or something special for yourself!
Founder + Executive Director of Dream Makers/Market 1
Every year 23,000+ teens exit the foster care system without a family to help them transition into adulthood. They are left to fend for themselves as they struggle to survive alone.
Market 18 is a program of Dream Makers, an independent nonprofit that is on a mission to change the lives of youth who have aged out of foster care.
Dream Makers helps to remove barriers that stand in the way of the empowered, connected lives these youth dream of having.