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Meet Ludiana, a KDC Independent Living (IL) Program alumna. Independent Living is a program in New Bedford that supports young adults between the ages of 17 ½ – 22-years-old. This program provides housing, mentorship, and guidance transitioning into adulthood from the foster care system. Ludiana was a part of this program for five years.

Aside from being part of the IL Program, some may recognize Ludinana from earlier this year, when she was featured during KDC’s 50th Anniversary Gala. Ludiana is hard to forget because she is the face of perseverance, courage, and, most importantly – she beat the odds. Statistics show that only 3% of foster children graduate college with a bachelor’s degree. Ludiana not only graduated with her Bachelor’s, but she’s pursuing her master’s degree at Assumption College.

“Ludiana truly is our shining star, she beat the odds stacked against her,” said Shaun, the Program Manager at KDC’s Independent Living Program. “She’s taken advantage of the supports we offer at our IL Program, and ran with them.” This program provides independent living skills in a comfortable, yet controlled, environment. The staff provide tools, resources, and guidance to young adults as they navigate into adulthood. KDC supports those in this program through clinical supports, assistance with applying to college, obtaining their licenses, finances, day to day responsibilities, and more.

“These young adults are not always taught the everyday independent living skills they would need to grow. We know they are going to fail at times, but we guide them through those hard times and show them how to cope.” Said Shaun, who has been the Program Manager at KDC’s IL Program for over five years. Before that, he was a social worker for KDC’s Foster Care Program. During his tenure at KDC, he has seen first-hand how much Ludiana has grown with KDC’s support.

“When Ludiana first started here, she was terrified to drive her car around the city,” Shaun remembers. “The fact that you are here talking to me and Ludiana at Assumption College in Worcester- over an hour away from New Bedford is unbelievable. She has come such a long way.” Ludiana is studying Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), with hopes to become a Board-Certified Behavior Analysis once she graduates. She hopes to land a career with Kennedy-Donovan Center once she graduates, working for the ABA Program.

“We are here to help young adults grow, to learn their way, and become the best version of themselves,” said Shaun. “and I am confident that Ludiana is going to go on to do amazing things.”

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