Six-year-old Ramses was 4 years old when he met his mentor Marquis Williams. It's through Friends of the Children LA. The nonprofit mentors the children of parents who were in foster care.
They'll stick with him until he graduates from high school.
Brittanie Richardson is Ramses mother. She entered foster care as a child and emancipated at 18 years old. She is now a single parent with seven children and works as a teacher's assistant for the schools.
As you might imagine, on and off the job, her hands are full. Richardson says it's been more than mentorship for her young son. She says they've been family. Marquis sees Ramses twice a week for a total of four hours.
As Friends LA takes on children at four to six years old, her son Ramses was a perfect fit. The organization provides professional mentors to families just like his. Ramses loves that his mentor Marquis has taken him to the park and to the library.
Thomas Lee heads the LA Chapter of this national nonprofit that made its way to Los Angeles just three years ago. He has a history with LA County's foster care community, one of the largest in the nation. The goal with all 200-plus mentees is to break the generational cycle that lands children in foster care.
Friends LA says: 92% of youth go on to enroll in post-secondary education, serve our country or enter the workforce.
Mentor Marquis seems to be a perfect hire. He is a college grad who knows the Richardson story well.
He too was in foster care. Marquis penned a book, Beating the System, my life in foster care. He went into foster care when he was 8 years old. He loves the long-term commitment to his mentees.
He calls Ramses' family resilient. Marquis himself found support through a mentor program called Echoes of Hope founded by hockey's Los Angeles Kings President Luc Robataille and his wife Stacia. It's his love of basketball that introduced him to Kobe Bryant. Want to know more? It's in the book!