Kenadie Cobbin Richardson’s college experience included a friendship with an emancipated foster youth whose struggle Richardson witnessed firsthand. She saw how this young woman’s lack of support prevented her from graduating and sadly realized that this is a reality that many foster youth face. Statistically, one out of ten foster youth attend college and only one out of a 100 actually graduate.
Post-college, Richardson worked as a teacher in urban centers in the United States. She saw that the vast majority of her pupils were in foster care dealing with parents who were drug-addicted, incarcerated and sexually and/or physically abusive. Living in California at that time, Richardson decided to take action and began establishing empowerment programs for young women living in California. Richardson converted her compassion into action and, in 2006, founded the HerShe Group Foundation, Inc.
HerShe’s mission is to prepare girls in foster care for the transition from adolescence into adult independence. By exposing these girls to extraordinary experiences through mentorship, the performing arts, college and career readiness and leadership development, these young ladies become “the princesses and queens they were meant to be.”
Today, HerShe’s work has expanded beyond empowerment programs and also works to meet the needs of youth in foster care by promoting stable, permanent connections to caring adults; assisting youth with the management of their physical and mental health needs; providing opportunities for youth to engage in the performing arts; supporting economic success through education and career exposure; providing life skills training to help youth navigate the adult world; and improving access to stable and safe housing.