From the Start


In 2007 the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay decided to focus on disadvantaged youth as a priority.  The Foundation's President, David Fischer, observed a venture in Hillsborough County that had been successful in helping young adults as they make the challenging transition from foster care to adulthood.  David believed nurturing such help throughout the community was a worthy project for the Foundation.   A meeting was organized in St. Pete to expose our community to the issues the youth face when they turn eighteen.  This transition occurs on their 18th Birthday without regard to any other outside considerations.  For example, most of these young people are still in high school or trying to obtain their GED, have limited life skills, no clear plan for housing or employment yet they are expected to be independent.


Bud Risser and Gerry Hogan were approached about developing a not for profit that would focus on assisting this population through this transition and thus Ready for Life was created.  They became involved because an opportunity to help these young people in a meaningful way was very compelling.  They had a clear mission and manageable goals while leveraging community resources and volunteers to make a real and significant difference.



Our Mission & Vision


Ready for Life provides support, resources and guidance former foster care youth need to successfully transition to adulthood.

We are a family-like community that serves, inspires and empowers young adults that have transitioned out of foster care (and their children) to be Ready for Life.

Geographic Area Served


Ready for life serves youth in Pinellas Counties 15 – 25 years old that are in foster care or have already transitioned out and are on their own.  The youth RFL serves exit the foster care system regardless of their housing situation, support system or knowing that they have what they need to be successful on their own. At RFL we help fill in lifeskills, learning gaps and remove barriers so the youth can reach self-sufficiency.

Meet the Team

Kathy copy.png
Shadai copy.png
Haley copy.png



Edie Banks

Yvette Bean

Kenneth Beattie (Chair)

Ramon Bosquez

Kay Dillinger

Susan Doll

Melissa Hill

Mary Pat McLain

Sally McLane

Crissy Pettineo

Bud Risser

Kathy Mize, CEO


David Fischer

Gerry Hogan

Bud Risser