Youth Villages stories

Kailif and Sisaundra Lewis during Kailif’s performance

North Carolina staff makes appearance on The Sisaundra Show

Jun 4, 2024 | Blog

Kailif shares his journey in navigating foster care, how music helped him cope, and advocating for mental health

Youth Villages staff, Kailif, interviewed and performed on The Sisaundra Show, an Afro TV daytime television entertainment talk show. Kailif talked with host and former NBC The Voice finalist, Sisaundra Lewis, about his experiences in foster care and how working with Youth Villages helps him live in his purpose.

Kailif is a youth support partner for High Fidelity Wraparound program (Hi-Fi), a family-driven program that uses individualized problem-solving for youth and families to help youth remain in the home.

His journey being in foster care is what inspires him to work with youth to provide much needed support.

I always try to be the person I always needed. I had mentors and they not only told me what I had to do but showed me how to do it through their own actions. So, I feel I can have an impact on the youth I work with just by sharing my personal experiences and that’s what Youth Villages has allowed me to do.
- Kailif

Kailif was born into a single-parent home with his mom being a recovering drug addict and an absent father. Growing up in New Jersey, he found himself staying with different family members, and experienced being in and out of group homes.

Kailif on The Sisaundra Show

The importance of mentorship stands out to Kailif, as he was eventually fostered at age 13 by a family member of a mentor he had while in group homes.

Hear Kailif tell his story and watch his performance on The Sisaundra Show:

Kailif opens up about his childhood journey, and advocating for mental health through Youth Villages, performs original music

Kailif continues to rely on music as a form of therapy to cope with past trauma and mental health challenges that may arise. He is a songwriter and composer who credits well-known acts such as Michael Jackson, Bobby Caldwell, Kendrick Lamar and Drake as some of his greatest influences.

Kailif now spends his time advocating for youth in Durham, North Carolina, through the Hi-Fi program and providing support for them.

“You know the success of our youth is all I care about,” Kailif said. “It doesn’t really matter how I feel, just seeing them succeed makes me happy.”

Kailif credits Youth Villages as a pillar to be able to share his story in a way that resonates with the youth he serves and is grateful for the support he’s received in sharing his story on live TV.

“Youth Villages has been very supportive of me and my growth within the organization and I couldn’t be more appreciative,” he added.

If you’re interested in working with Youth Villages North Carolina, click here to learn more.

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