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October 16, 2023 5 mins

17 year old creator of the Foster Buddy App

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
First, though, we have talked on the show before about
foster youth in southern California and the struggles that foster
youth face when they, as you say, each out of
the system. So there's a seventeen year old. This is
a great story. There's a seventeen year old named Layla Turanchi,
high schooler from Brentwood. She decided to do something about it.
She decided to basically build and launch an app to

(00:24):
address this issue. She launched an app called Foster Buddy.
Good Morning, Leila. It's so nice to meet you.

Speaker 2 (00:31):
It's so nice to meet you as well. Thank you
so much for this.

Speaker 1 (00:34):
Of course, we want to know more about why you
decided to launch this app.

Speaker 2 (00:40):
So I'm a part of a foster family, and i
also run a five oh one c three foster youth
nonprofit called Cocoa's Angels based in Los Angeles, and in
the past several years, I've witnessed significant flaws in our
current system, especially with regards to helping foster youth stay
on their feet after they turn eighteen. So, while interviewing

(01:02):
and taking portraits of foster youth for a coffee table
book last year, it dawned on me that we were
failing a significant population of underserved youth and youth who
did the chance at having reliable mentors who needed supportive
role models in their lives to help keep them on track.
And I thought to myself, what better way to help

(01:23):
foster youth than to connect them with a mentor, And
what better way of helping society see foster youth potential
than encouraging them to become mentors. So just directed at
everyone who's interested in becoming a mentor, Imagine the impact
that you truly can have on someone who has no
one to turn to, And imagine how much just a
little commitment can do for someone who truly needs your help.

Speaker 1 (01:47):
I vote for you for president running. So I mean,
just listening to you, you're recognizing an issue, being obviously
familiar with the system, and executing it. It's so very
impressive at seventeen years old. What's been the response since
you've launched Foster Body.

Speaker 2 (02:07):
So, just to give a little background about what Foster
Body is, Foster Buddy is an app that matches foster
youth who are aging out of the system with adult
mentors across diverse professional fields and so on. Foster youth
no longer gets support versus from the state or county
welfare system. That's where foster body steps in. I think

(02:28):
a lot of the response, especially for mentors, is a
common theme I see with a lot of people who
really want to help and make an impact, but truly
just don't know how. I think the message I would
give to the listeners out there, and the response that
I've gotten from a lot of mentors, is that it
doesn't matter who you are, everyone truly can help. And
I think we live in a world where we make

(02:50):
so many excuses as to why we can't do something,
But what if we just try to give an hour
of our time every week or maybe even two, And
what if we put ourselves in shoes of someone who
didn't have anyone in their lives getting them giving them guidance.
So I think foster Body doesn't just transform lives of
foster youth, but it also transforms the lives of our
mentors who express expressed repetitively how much our app has

(03:15):
already changed them to And if someone's.

Speaker 1 (03:18):
Listening right now and they want to be a mentor,
what can they do?

Speaker 2 (03:22):
So essentially, the first thing I would say is to
simply go onto the app store, search up foster Buddy
and start creating creating an account. And so far we've
welcomed educators, medical professionals, lawyers, producers, web designers, and tech
industry experts onto Foster Buddy. But you and any by

(03:42):
any means do not have to have a medical degree
or a JD to become a Foster Buddy mentor, so
we welcome everyone. We ensure that each person has a
thorough background check with an InApp third party background check service,
and then we help pair foster youth with mentors based
on interest, experiences and career goals, so it truly doesn't
matter what your profession is. Foster Budy can help find

(04:04):
an emancipated foster youth who will benefit from the role
you can play in their lives.

Speaker 1 (04:09):
Leila Taran, she's seventeen years old, a student that recognize
this issue in the system, and it's just really it's impressive,
it's incredible. What do you want to do in ten years?
Oh my god, I wanted to ask the exact same question, Ryan,
you can ask it.

Speaker 2 (04:24):
Yeah, No, Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Speaker 1 (04:26):
Leila?

Speaker 2 (04:28):
So I see myself stepping into the realm of policy
and being able to tangibly make this change and be
the change that I see, like want to create in
this system. And I think for me, a lot of
people ask me what my dream for foster body is.
And although it would be ideal for every foster youth

(04:48):
to be logged onto the app as soon as they
turn eighteen, my goal isn't just that, But it's just
for foster youth to know that they have this as
a crutch to fall back on. So even if they
choose not to use it, it's so important to just
allow foster you to know that there are people that
truly care for them, because once they turn eighteen, they
truly do not have anyone. So just knowing that they

(05:11):
have this is a crutch to fall back on, it
is the most important thing. Yeah, you still need that
guidance at eighteen exactly.

Speaker 1 (05:18):
I'm blown away. I'm blown away. Well, thank you Lena
for coming on. It's so nice to meet you. And
continued success and again, when you decide to run for president,
please come back.

Speaker 2 (05:30):
We're in I will, I will, all right.

Speaker 1 (05:35):
Bye bye bye. I'm blown away by the poise, the execution,
just everything that she said, it's really that's like touch
my heart. It's very, very needed and impressive all of it,
and she'll be eligible to run in twenty forty two,

(05:56):
so get ready. Wow, fantastic
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