ABOUT US

From the Start

On December 26, 2018, after visiting one of her young clients in jail, Pamela Bress, the senior staff attorney at Brevard County Legal Aid, decided to tackle the problems her clients faced as they aged out of foster care. Ms. Bress believed that if her 20-year-old client had lived in a safe place, had mental health counseling, help passing her GED, and employment assistance, she would not have been involved in the criminal justice system and lost her two young sons to foster care.

 

Through her research, Ms. Bress learned about an organization in Pinellas County called Ready for Life which has a 12-year track record of helping young adults successfully transition from foster care to adulthood.  After immersing herself there for several days, Ms. Bress was convinced that Brevard County needed its own Ready for Life to help 15-25 year old at risk youth successfully transition to adulthood. To bring Ready for Life to Brevard County, Ms. Bress recruited Julia Irvin, former Executive Director of Connect 25 Brevard, Dr. Kim Deffebach, PhD in Child Psychology, Lisa Soloway, President of LiftUp Young Lives, Inc., Betsy Farmer, Director of Community Outreach for the Housing Authority of Brevard County,  Kyleigh Barbour, former foster youth and Corrie Dunkin with a background in Communications, Management and Youth Leadership. Together they founded Ready for Life Brevard, a nonprofit organization that focuses on getting at risk youth ready for life.

 

Our Mission & Vision

 

Ready for Life Brevard (RFLB) provides support, resources, and guidance that​ unaccompanied youth or youth in foster care need to transition to adulthood. We are a family-like community that serves, inspires, and empowers young adults that are transitioning to adulthood (and their children) to be Ready for Life.


Geographic Area Served by Ready for Life Brevard

 

RFLB serves youth in Brevard County 15 – 25 years old who are​ unaccompanied or in foster care or have already transitioned out and are on their own.  The youth RFLB serves ​enter adulthood regardless of their housing situation, support system, or knowing that they have what they need to be successful on their own. At RFLB we fill in ​gaps in life skills and remove barriers so ​our youth can reach self-sufficiency.

Meet the Team

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TEAM MEMBERS

      Katie Stewart       Director of Operations

                                     & Wraparound Services

      Judi Osborne        Education Learning

                                     Lab Director

Deborah Joseph        Targeted Case Manager

        Kim Pepper        Volunteer Mentor

                                     & Pantry Coordinator

  Ashleigh Balser       Youth Specialist

OUR BOARD MEMBERS

                   Julia Irvin       President, Connected

                                          by 25 Brevard 

            Betsy Farmer      Housing Authority of

                                          Brevard County

             Lisa Soloway      Executive Director

                                          Lift-up Young Lives 

             John Watson      Brevard Youth

                                          Leadership Council 

Nathaniel Cochrane      Real Estate 

            Mark Gornto       CEO Harbour Petroleum 

              Walt Koenig       International Sales

                                          and Marketing

     Dr. Sharon Jones       PhD, N.C.C., LMHC

      Debbie Caldwell       CRS Ventures International

           Joshua Harris       Pastor, River of Life

                                          Christian Center

                                          of Orlando-Palm Bay