Teen surprised with car after having to quit job due to transportation

A local teen who grew up in foster care her whole life now dedicates her time to caring for others. She lost her job when the coronavirus pandemic hit, but a car donation is changing her life back around.
Keanna Carbajal is a speaker, a poet and pianist. But her job as a caregiver is what pays the bills.

She was forced to quit due to lack of transportation and COVID-19's impact on bus schedules.

"This car means so much to me. I can't even like stress how many opportunities that it's opened up for me," Carbajal said. "Now I'm going to be able to work, doesn't matter how far it is or what time it starts at because I'm not going to have to worry about when the buses aren't running."

At 19 years old, Carbajal has had more foster homes than birthdays - 32 to be exact. She's currently in the Homes with Heart Ventura County Independent Living Program.

"I think we need to do better with our youth that have been in care for a long time that really don't have family contact, a lot of family support," said Jaci Johnson, Human Services Agency, Ventura County.

Surprising Carbajal took a team effort, starting with Tara Weber, who donated the SUV.

"My dad gave me the car that he took meticulous care of. And my three boys have been able to drive it. We really wanted to return the blessing," said Weber.

Weber donated to James Storehouse, a nonprofit committed to supporting children in foster care and those like Carbajal who have aged out.

James Storehouse coordinated with Homes with Heart, and the rest is history.

"It worked out so much for me. I would not be here where I'm at with the things that I have if it weren't for them. Not because they gave it to me but because they motivated me to work harder to earn these," Carbajal said.

Carbajal has dreams of becoming a lawyer one day, but says she first wants to serve as a probation officer so she can use her voice to help other kids and young adults facing hardships.
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