McGovern said MYOI helped her immensely. She became involved in MYOI three years ago when she opened a savings account and secured a state ID. The program also taught her the discipline to save for a car. She recently bought a 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier on her own.
The car allows her to wheel to and from her job at Goodwill Industries of Northwest Michigan and to tutoring classes.
"I'm proud of myself, to know I could do that on my own," McGovern said of her car purchase. "I pay for my own car, my gas, my insurance, and my own repairs, unfortunately."
Charles Martin and his sister, Jessi Salmons, are in a similar situation. Both spent much of their youth in foster care because of a family tragedy, yet both believe they have bright futures.
Martin said MYOI helped him save and pay for a car that gets him to and from classes at Northwestern Michigan College. He's now dreaming of a career as either a chef or photographer.
"MYOI helps you get from foster care to independent living," said Martin, 23. "MYOI also helped me stay in school. That's the biggest thing it helped me with. I probably wouldn't be in college right now if it wasn't for MYOI."
Salmons wants to be a stay-at-home mom and care for her 8-month-old daughter Emmeline with her husband, Dakota, at their home in Buckley. MYOI helped Salmons and her husband save money during her pregnancy, cash that now pays for the young couple's rental housing.
She's also saved for books for college classes, and took asset training classes on finding housing and transportation.
"Having been in foster care, I want to be the best mom I can be," Salmons said.