WEDNESDAY'S CHILD

Wednesday’s Child: 19-year-old Kaleb dreams of being a paleontologist, hopes to be adopted

Aug 4, 2022, 1:34 PM | Updated: Sep 19, 2022, 5:51 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Children over the age of 18 make up a small percentage of Utahns living in foster care, but it’s this age group that desperately need a family connection as they enter their next phase of life. Kaleb, 19, is one of those young adults who is getting ready for college and hopefully a career in paleontology.

“When I was a little kid, I always wanted to be a paleontologist. Back then, I called it a dinosaur doctor — that’s what my mom said.”

At the Natural History Museum of Utah, Kaleb got to show off his impressive knowledge of dinosaurs while getting a behind-the-scenes tour from paleontologist Carrie Leavitt-Bussian, collections manager for the museum. Together, they looked at fossils collected in Utah, including the Kosmoceratops discovered in Grande Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah.

“This is the only one in the world and it’s about 79 million years old,” Leavit-Bussian said.

“Kaleb is a very intelligent, intuitive kid, and he really aspires to be a paleontologist. He’s been very interested in dinosaurs since he was little and it’s something he would love to do,” said Jynie Palmer, Kaleb’s youth connections advocate with Raise the Future, who accompanied him on his visit to the museum. “He’s going to start at SLCC in the fall, which is a goal of his.”

Kaleb has lived in foster care for many years. He worries about “aging-out” with no real family connections to lend support. “Aging-out” means the child is over the age of 18 and is released from state custody. While these young adults are still eligible for support services from the state, they are considered legally independent.

Kaleb said he would like to have someone to help him with this next step in life.

“Just someone to help me with independence skills and learning. Just someone who cares about me, someone that will pay attention to me and do stuff with me.”

“He’s been in foster care for a while, and at times, he loses hope that there is a family or parents out there for him that will care about him and love him. And he really needs someone who will be there for him and uplift him and just spend time with him,” Palmer said.

Along with an interest in dinosaurs, Kaleb loves hiking and playing video games. He also loves going to the library and learning.

“He loves to go pick out books and go through them. Sometimes I have to give him a limit because he’ll check out 50 books and that’s not an exaggeration,” Palmer said.

Palmer said Kaleb is more of an introvert, adding that he’s quiet until he gets to know a person, but then once he’s comfortable, he’ll talk your ear off.

“It might take a little bit longer to get that connection because he’s been through stuff and may not trust easily, but if you stick with him, he’ll connect, and he absolutely wants that,” she said.

Kaleb said he hasn’t given up hope that the right family or mentor is out there for him. He said it’s one of the reasons he agreed to be featured as a Wednesday’s Child. He hopes that family will reach out to get to know him soon.

“Something I tell him every day is he absolutely deserves a family,” Palmer said.

To learn more about Kaleb, please contact Raise the Future at 801-265-0444 or visit their website.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Wednesday's Child

...
Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: Amen looking for active, engaged family to help him navigate school

On this week's Wednesday's Child, we introduce you to Amen, a 15-year-old boy who, when you first meet him, may hide his true personality inside. But once you get to know him, you'll see what a kind and funny young man he is.
7 months ago
Chevy with his family, Brian and Jen....
Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: Chevy, who dreams of becoming a game designer, has found his new home

In this week's Wednesday's Child, we follow up with Chovy, who has found his forever home with a new family and getting ready for college.
7 months ago
16-year-old Ayden at Red Butte Garden....
Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: Ayden hopes to be an author

For this week's Wednesday's Child, 16-year-old Ayden is looking for a family to encourage him to reach his goal of writing imaginative stories.
8 months ago
Kila at the Utah’s Hogle Zoo feeding the elephants....
Shara Park

Wednesday Child: Kila wants to help other foster kids when she grows up

For this week's Wednesday's Child, we learn more about 17-year-old Kila as she wants to help other children in the foster system after her experiences.
9 months ago
...
Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: Angel wants to have a forever family as she becomes a teenager

Angel, short for Angela, turns 13 this summer and she doesn’t want to spend her next birthday in foster care. She’s been living in foster care since 2017.
9 months ago
Tyson at playing at the Nickelcade....
Shara Park, KSL TV

Wednesday’s Child: Tyson loves video games and asking questions, looking for a family open up to

On this week's Wednesday's Child, 16-year-old Tyson loves video games and has creative aspirations. He is also very curious and hopes for a family that can keep up with him.
10 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Wednesday’s Child: 19-year-old Kaleb dreams of being a paleontologist, hopes to be adopted