Dontae Lartigue, the CoFounder of RTB spent most of his youth in public systems and aged out of foster care. As a black male aging out of the foster care system, the odds were overwhelmingly stacked against him. During his time in foster care, however, he came across a few people that actually cared about him - and he knew they cared. That would come to be the catalyst Dontae needed to become involved in improving the same system he was once a part of. Dontae spent several years working with non-profits, public officials, and foster youth advocacy organizations. Knowing that the fundamental needs of foster youth revolved around their ability to forge permanent, positive relationships, in 2017 Dontae co-founded a non-profit focused on just that - permanent, positive relationships. Dontae cofounded Razing the Bar with one of his Mentors - one of the people he knew cared about him.
Since launching in 2018, RTB has begun to further demonstrate the importance of relational development in youth aging out of foster care, as well as other under-resourced youth populations. Over our three years, we’ve shown that positive, unconditional, and permanent relationships improve lives. According to Rosenberg’s Self Esteem Index that we administered, their feelings of self-worth increased substantially over the course of the first year, as did their earnings. The youth in the pilot also reported that they know they have permanent, supportive connections, and they’ve been ascending ever since.