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Challengers Independent Living Inc.’s mission to provide teens (ages 16-21) with clinical support, vocational training, independent life skills training in a sage and nurturing environment.


Why do we need your help?

National data suggests that for youth who have spent time in foster care, at age 24, only 48% are employed, as compared to 75% in the general population. Of those working, only 11% earn a livable wage. Data also suggests the impact of foster care on attending college. 70% of teens that emancipate from foster care report that they want to attend college, however, less than 3% complete college in comparison to their peers in the general population. One of the reasons for this is lack of knowledge of educational resources for foster youth and exposure to what university life could look like for them.


“Between 11 and 37 percent of youth aging out of foster care experience homelessness after they transition.  And an additional 25 to 50 percent are unstably housed after transition” (Mitchell 2014).  Many of these former and current foster care youth also fall under the characteristics of out-of-school youth, ages 17-24. This most vulnerable population, in which CWIP will serve, will be aided with stable housing through Challengers.  “When adolescents "age out" or are emancipated from the foster care system, the newly independent young adults have very little support and encounter astonishingly high rates of unemployment and homelessness” (Zlotnick 535).  CWIP is designed to support foster care youth become emotionally stable, employed, self-sufficient adults, creating a well positioned individual, ready for the workforce.



What will you be doing?

This is a varied role and you could do one, or all, of the following activities:


  • Understand the mission of CIL by reviewing the materials that will be provided.

  • Connect the CIL staff and board to the issues, challenges and opportunities that are unique to the community in which you live.

  • Host a fundraising event in your area

  • Attend local events – (e.g. chamber gatherings and nonprofit fundraising events) as a representative of Challengers Independent Living and distribute materials as appropriate.

  • Network in the local community to identify nonprofit organizations that are providing services. As appropriate, supply these organizations with information about the CIL.

  • Provide information to the CIL staff regarding worthy local nonprofit organizations and the work they are doing. Communicate innovations and successes that might be encouraged.

  • Be a source of information regarding potential funders including leadership givers, corporate supporters, and foundations or grants.

  • Be a source of information regarding potential board members, Community Investment Committee members (who recommend grant decisions), and other volunteers.

  • Identify and liaison with new businesses in the area that might be interested in supporting CIL through sponsorship of events, volunteerism or a workplace giving campaign.

  • Assist with CIL events that might be held locally including fundraising and cultivation events.

  • Volunteer, or help recruit volunteers, to help with CIL events or support the work in the CIL office


How is the Challengers Volunteer Ambassador Role different from that of a Board Member’s Role?

The Challengers Volunteer Ambassador Role and the Challengers Board Member Role are similar in that the purpose of both is to help Challengers raise awareness about the needs of foster youth in Maryland and secure resources (financial and otherwise) to support Challenger’s programs. Also, both roles are Volunteer.


The roles differ in that Challengers Volunteer Ambassadors are not legally responsible for the governance and well-being of Challengers Independent Living, Inc. as are the Challengers Board of Directors. Also there is a limit to how many people are allowed on the Challenger’s Board of Directors and how many can be out of state (Maryland); however, there is no limit to the number of Volunteer Ambassadors we may have or where they are located.


Lastly Volunteer Ambassadors have the capacity to be more involved with Challengers programs and day to day activities than the Board of Directors may be able to.


What skills/experience do I need?

  • Good communication skills

  • Reliable and professional demeanor

  • A personal and friendly manner

  • Flexibility to be called upon when needed

  • Honest and trustworthy

  • An ability to use your own initiative and to work unsupervised

  • Responsive to communications


How much of my time would you like?

This is a flexible role and the times may vary but we would like you to attend or host one – two events per month.


How will I be trained and supported?

  • You will receive a full induction to Challengers Independent Living Ambassador’s Role

  • You will have a member of staff as a named contact who will support you and answer any queries you have

  • You will be given any equipment/marketing materials and information necessary to carry out your role

What can I gain from volunteering with you?

  • The satisfaction of knowing that you are making a valuable contribution to the lives of young people in the foster care system.

  • Utilizing your existing skills as well as developing and learning new ones

  • Reimbursement for any expenses incurred (with prior agreement)


Where will I be based?

This role will be based within your local area


How do I apply?

CLICK HERE or Contact Shalita O’Neale, Director of Resource Development, at  


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