Here in DC, the vast majority of the nearly 1,000 kids in foster care entered the system because of abuse or neglect. So BEST Kids offers them something they desperately need: consistent encouragement and support from a caring adult. It provides one-on-one mentoring, monthly peer group activities, and college/career readiness skills to nearly 100 children and youth ages 6–21. Reliability is crucial, so mentors undergo extensive training and receive support from a team of staff and experts in psychiatry, education, legal advocacy, and behavior management. The average mentorship lasts over 18 months, double the national average, and in 2022, over 76% of kids said they think they are doing as well as others their age — a significant accomplishment. These kids know they can count on their mentors for support and they are also learning to advocate for themselves.