The Foster Youth Transition Foundation was founded by four graduates of James Madison University, Malia Simon Kishore, Lisa Balatbat, Amy Schuette Zeidler, and Ruth Wilsey Eisenhour. The friends decided to start the foundation for their 40th birthday. With similar educations, varied talents, and a 25 year friendship as their base, their goal is to build something that will enable foster youth to seek opportunities and realize their dreams.
It was Malia’s work as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) that spurred the initial idea for the foundation. As a CASA for over 18 years Malia represented a wide age range of children. While working with older teens she realized that their needs were often more immediate and less attended to than those of younger children. It became clear that an organization dedicated to assisting older foster youth as they prepare to age out of the foster care system was necessary. Malia’s goal was to build a simple organization that could aid older foster youth in the pursuit of their educational goals as well as allow them to participate in age and talent appropriate activities.