Match Story – Devan Rittel
Devan’s story is typical of many young people involved in the foster care system. Starting at a very young age, Devan was moved from one foster home to another, and eventually found himself
homeless as a young teenager. A few years later, when he was 17, Devan was living in a group home and signed up for the financial literacy program as part of the Opportunity Passport™.
At the time, Devan found himself trapped in a financial cycle that many foster youth find themselves in. He was working at a K-mart within walking distance of his group home, but wanted to buy a car so he could find a better job and enroll in a college course to become a paramedic and get his life on a successful path. However, he couldn’t afford a car on his part-time wages. Without a car he was limited to the low-paying jobs available near the group home.
Through the Opportunity Passport™ Devan was able to save enough money that, along with the match, allowed him to buy his first used car. With transportation, Devan found a full-time job further from the home and started taking college courses toward an associate’s degree in paramedicine.
Devan says the car he bought also enabled him to become a volunteer firefighter, which he finds rewarding and offers valuable experience as he pursues a career as a paramedic. Devan says there is no question the Opportunity Passport™ program has provided valuable help to him as he transitions from foster care to life as an independent adult.