Cedar Valley Leadership Institute: Red Team Partners with House of Hope Pillars

posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 in Blog

Written by Red Team Member Julie Sorensen

The CVLI Red Team really wanted their service project to concentrate on helping out children in the foster care program. After researching multiple organizations we partnered with the House of Hope Pillars program.

Pillars is a program ran by the House of Hope that aids females (ages 18-24) aging out of the foster care program transition to independent living. Transitioning out of foster care is a significant challenge—it requires you to grow up. Fast. The programming provided helps make that transition a little easier, and a little less scary. Each resident that joins the Pillars program and House of Hope receives a permanent home for two years, encouragement and support to achieve independence, individualized case management assistance, support services, and life skills classes, mentoring, and tutoring services.

The CVLI Red team chose to provide life skills classes for the residents this past spring. The team members met with the residents and provided hour long sessions on differing topics including, taxes, financial literacy, job applications and resume building, cooking, and auto maintenance. The residents were very open to advice and full of questions! The opportunity to get to know the three residents on a more personal level was very enjoyable. Many of the members have signed up again for next year's life skills classes.

At the end of our sessions in May we all came back to the house and provided a potluck cook out.  We played bags, which were provided by last year's CVLI service project, and had a great time!  In addition, we presented Susan Backes, Pillars case manager, with a check to further enhance the programming of Pillars!

For more information about House of Hope and the Pillars organization check out their site at