Jan. 19, 2017, 8:26 a.m.

Southmountain Teen Attends Community College

Jamie Odom, an 18 year old young lady who lives at Southmountain Estates is indeed an example to her peers. Jamie lives with foster parents Ben and DeLynn Garza and graduated from Hallyburton Academy last spring. She became a full time student at Western Piedmont Community College in the Fall of 2016 and is working towards her 2-year Associates Degree in Art. Jamie had a very successful first semester and passed all of her final exams!
In addition to being a full time student, Jamie finds time in her busy schedule to volunteer at the Hospitality House in Boone for an impressive 40 hours every other week. The Hospitality House is a residential program for individuals and families experiencing homelessness and poverty-related crises. Jamie helps out by preparing meals, helping with office work, sorting donations and giving out supplies to residents. One of Jamie’s goals is to start an art program at the Hospitality House and her plan is to talk with the agency’s Board of Directors after she completes 1000 volunteer hours and establishes credibility with the program.
This year, the NC Legislature extended the age for children to remain in foster care from 18 to 21 and now provides state funding to County Departments of Social Services to help pay for the costs associated with young adults staying longer in foster care. Now, the door is open for foster children to return or remain in care and receive the assistance they need to reach adulthood. This change in law will benefit Jamie, and other young adults like her so they can remain in care longer or come into care between the ages of 18 and 21.
Southmountain is helping Jamie so she can be successful in college and prepared for life beyond college and the agency has helped her purchase a car. According to Jamie, “I would not change any of this for the world, and I wish I could do more.” We are so proud of you Jamie! You are an outstanding young woman! Keep up the good work!