Darol Rodrock Foundation Begins Plans for Academy
On the night of his 70th birthday party, when most set their sights on slowing down, Darol Rodrock opted, instead, to start a brand new chapter, dedicating his life to helping local children in foster care.
Darol Rodrock Foundation Outreach
Started in 2014, The Darol Rodrock Foundation has allowed Darol to reach out and help these special children, specifically those aging out of the system. Darol regularly talks to those in the system, sharing his own story of having grown up in and out of orphanages—and offering hope.
Through his efforts, children have been gifted school supplies, clothes, transportation, and other basic needs. Care packages have been sent to college-aged kids, while local foster children have been treated to holiday parties, gifts, and more. And Darol has partnered with Dayton Moore’s “C” You At The “K” and Sporting KC to raise awareness and support for area foster-care children.
Still this is only the beginning of Darol’s hopes. He long set his sights on building transitional housing for kids aging out of foster care—including dorms, a dining hall, full-time counselors, and a manager to overlook the “Darol Rodrock Academy.”
High Hopes for Darol Rodrock Academy
Excitingly, the Foundation put a bid in on a former Ursuline convent in Paola, KS. Made up of some 65,000 feet of living space and 40 bedrooms, the convent sits on 36 rolling acres of ground, complete with barns. It is a most magnificent property, and the Foundation has big plans for it.
The Darol Rodrock Academy would fill a very real need: It’s estimated that some 250 children are aging out of foster care in Kansas this year alone. These young people aren’t prepared to enter the real world. Nationally, 71% of the girls who age out will have a child out of wedlock before the age of 21. Sadly, 74% of boys will have a police record. Another 40% will be homeless—because more than half of these young people will find themselves unemployed by age 25. For those that do hold jobs, the majority will not be earning a living wage. Hard to earn a decent wage when 1 in 5 is without a high-school diploma or GED in their mid-20s.
And the way the system is set up, there is little hope in breaking this awful cycle. There is less than a 3% chance for children who have aged out of foster care to earn a college degree at any point in their life.
The Darol Rodrock Foundation, through the Darol Rodrock Academy, hopes to change all that. It is the Foundation’s plan to provide emotional guidance, educational assistance, and mentoring services to help these young people continue their education or get a solid job. Plans include offering therapy for emotional support so these kids can help leave the shadows of their pasts behind them. With a helping hand, these young people will have a real chance at a life.