Officially started in 2019, the roots of FounderKids go back nearly 20 years to the beginning of Jon Cline’s career. Jon had his own tumultuous experience with the foster care system, and as he found success as an entrepreneur, he realized those trials actually prepared him to face challenges in life. A lot of former foster kids just like him could benefit—not only from personal and career skills, but also from this mindset of turning prior pains into future gains.
Jon went into foster care as a baby and spent the first eight or nine years of his life not knowing his biological mother. Thankfully, he had an incredible foster family and experienced an idyllic, rural childhood. That’s not everyone’s experience with foster care, but it all changed when his biological mother reappeared and regained custody.
While he was reunited with his biological mother and left the foster care system at the age of nine, it wasn’t an ideal reunion. If anything, Jon’s life became more unstable and more closely resembled a typical foster kid experience.
Throughout his teenage years, Jon had to look out for himself. He didn’t have the kind of role models he needed, so he sought out mentors. They changed his life. He learned basic skills, values, and the simple facts of life (like wearing deodorant).
Jon discovered computers during one of his wanderings to a neighbor’s house—a Commodore 64 and later a Timex Sinclair. Everything changed when he compared his $4.75 per hour job at a bookstore to the $40 per hour he earned showing someone how to use Netscape and Quickbooks. He realized he could be paid for the value he offered, not just the hours logged on a time clock.
That revelation started Jon on an entrepreneurial journey. He eventually founded his own businesses and today manages teams. That’s the work he’s been doing for 20 years.
It’s rarely been easy. Jon has had to start over a few times and learned some lessons the hard way. But those lessons have made all the difference.
Learning the Right Lessons
Finding a career and forging a successful life is important. For many former foster kids, simply making it is a huge success.
But when you learn the right lessons, you can do so much more. You can be more than the follower, you can be the founder. It’s more of a mindset than a title.
More than job training or technical skills, FounderKids exists to inspire foster kids to go to the next level. To turn their prior pains into future gains.
Ready? Let’s get started.