San Marcos High School Students Ignite Passion for Foster Youth Through Student-Organized Foster Program

Students at San Marcos High School are creating excitement and bringing awareness to the ongoing needs of foster youth and it’s causing a ripple effect throughout the community. Not only that, but it’s having a huge impact on high school students who are working with foster youth through this program.

RFASST is also an eye-opener to the harsh reality that face many foster youth on a daily basis and students at San Marcos High School have decided to become the game-changers in the lives of foster youth and their resource families in Santa Barbara County. As a result, many of these students are making foster work their lifelong careers.

San Marcos High School student Emma Habecker has Frank Koroshec to thank for helping her discover her calling. Because of her involvement with RFAAST founded by English teacher and foster parent Frank Koroshec, she is now pursuing a career working with foster youth.

“I am forever thankful for Mr. Koroshec’s class and RFASST. I am now going to Boulder to study sociology and hopefully enter a career working with foster children,” said Habecker.

Habecker is just one of many students from San Marcos High School impacted by the work they’ve been doing with RFASST, an organization founded by Koroshec in the fall of 2015.

> RFASST serves as a way to care for and support resource families

> Bringing awareness of foster youth needs within the Santa Barbara community

> Promoting foster/adoption among San Marcos High School students when they are old enough to do so

Since then, more than 100 students have been involved with this organization which first started out as a support for the local Resource Family Association (RFA) and Foster Kinship Care Education (FKCE) by providing childcare at monthly Parents in Progress (PiP) trainings.

The organization has quickly grown and after receiving a $10,000 grant from local nonprofit Kids Helping Kids, RFASST has expanded its program, enabling the organization to provide the support Santa Barbara County resource families and foster youth desperately need at a vital time in their lives.

RFASST also hosts a series of Meet Ups, where they invite resource families to enjoy various free events, such as Lane Farms, Ice in Paradise, and MOXI, with the intention of providing interactive opportunities between the students and foster youth that may grow into sustained support for resource families.

At San Marcos High School, the organization also hosts a RFASST Speaker Series, inviting students schoolwide to hear stories each month from individuals who have been impacted by the foster system, including foster and/or adopt parents, San Marcos High School foster youth, therapists and social workers.

“RFASST aims to care for and support foster youth, increase retention of foster parents through dedicated support to resource families, educate students about the needs of the community while increasing empathy and encouraging students to become future resource parents themselves,” said Koroshec who has been a foster parent to 9 youth over the years and has been continuing his work at San Marcos High School.

As a result of RFASST, many students involved with the program want to either have a career working with foster children or want to someday themselves become foster parents.

“RFASST has taught me to open my eyes to the needs of our community, especially foster youth and the resource families,” said student Deryn Gersoff who also added, “RFASST has been a highlight and I know it will impact my future.”

For more information on RFASST, please visit: https://www.rfasst.com/

About Our County. Our Kids

Our County. Our Kids is a program of the Santa Barbara County Department of Social Services (SBC DSS). It is the SBC DSS resource family recruitment, retention, and support program. Visit www.ourcountyourkids.org/  for more information.