Mikeal is a 17-year-old who has been at 22 foster homes and placements since the age of 12. Throughout his life, he lacked a supportive family and parental figures to help guide and be there for him—ultimately leading to his arrival at Rawhide in June 2023.

He first resided in Starr Home and recently moved into The Lodge Group Home where he has more independence and responsibilities. When asked what his favorite part about Rawhide is, Mikeal answered “The staff and their willingness to focus on my future and not my past.”

As a recent high school graduate from Starr Academy, Mikeal is optimistic about his bright future. “I didn’t think I was going to graduate before I came here and didn’t really focus in class. But Mr. Nolan pushed me to my limits and encouraged me to do better.”

After Rawhide, Mikeal plans to get accepted to a four-year college with a major in social work. When asked why he chose social work, he shared, “I’ve been through it and have more insight and understanding than people who didn’t go through the foster system. I want to make a difference.”

Mikeal is incredibly motivated to succeed and understands how his choices impact his future. “I can’t always blame other people around me for my judgment calls,” he said. “I remind myself to not make decisions that I’ll later regret.”

Mikeal’s message to donors: “Thank you for all you do because it really makes a difference. It directly helps us, but it also helps Rawhide come together.”