The nonprofit aims to help middle-aged Texas children succeed in school

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AUSTIN (KXAN) – When Andrea Brauer was looking for a guardian for her foster daughter, she realized there was a need.

“Consistency in the life of a foster child is extremely important, as they have had so many adults who have let them down,” said Andrea Brauer, the founder and chairman of the Learning Bridge board.

He was looking for an organization that would meet the educational needs of the foster children.

“Many foster children can go back to school a year or two ago for many reasons,” Brauer said. “These children have been abused and neglected, they are dealing with trauma, they have been taken to schools several times, they have been moved to different caregivers several times in order to affect their schoolwork and their approach.”

That’s when he decided to create Learning Bridge. A non-profit organization that began as a program last year with the goal of matching volunteer tutors with foster children like Jaden.

“I had problems with my writing because the teacher was asking me what that word was and I wouldn’t get it,” Jaden explained.

For the past year, Jaden has had a tutor and his father has noticed a difference.

“There were a lot of behavior problems at school, we were constantly talking to his teachers and we were proposing different strategies to help him and now he is volunteering to help the school and he loves it. It’s great to see the difference, “said Marques Bland.

Today, Jaden takes his new skills and writes his own story through comics and reading books like Tristan Strong.

Learning Bridge reports that most of the students they tutor are students of color and in need of Spanish-speaking volunteers.

(Source: Learning Bridge)

The data show only about half of young people studying in foster care care in high school and less than 5% in the state have college degrees. It’s a statistic Jaden doesn’t plan to count on.

“I want to become a marine biologist,” he said.

Currently, nonprofits need help developing their staff and always accept volunteers to help children in Travis, Hays and Williamson counties. They are currently guardians of 24 foster children.

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