WEDNESDAY'S CHILD

Wednesday’s Child: Kaleb dreams of being a paleontologist

Aug 4, 2022, 1:34 PM | Updated: Oct 12, 2022, 2:16 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

Wednesday's Child

Noah Wednesday's Child...

Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: Teen gamer Noah wants to make memories with forever family

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s not uncommon to hear shrieking and laughter coming from inside the Redrig mobile gaming trailer. With dozens of games to play, and multiple screens to play on, it’s a space where everyone is welcome.

6 days ago

Gavin speaking about his interest in science and technology, and his want for a forever home....

Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: Gavin loves to tinker with technology and is open about his adoption journey

14-year-old Gavin has a special interest in science and technology and wants to work for the military when he grows up.

20 days ago

To get to know siblings, Desiree, Alex, and Elias, the group visited The Escape Date in Pleasant Gr...

Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: Siblings Desiree, Alex and Elias share a special bond

To get to know siblings, Desiree, Alex, and Elias, the group visited The Escape Date in Pleasant Grove, and took on the adventure of a candy themed room, and its mission to uncover a secret family recipe.

1 month ago

Wed child Austin...

Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: 17-year-old Austin searches for a family to help him in adulthood

Seventeen-year-old Austin has a passion for everything nerdy and is looking for a family to support him in his next phase of life.

2 months ago

13-year-old Ryker on a teeter-totter in Thunder Junction All-Abilities Park....

Shara Park

13-year-old Ryker loves music and Disney movies

13-year-old Ryker is looking for a family who can help him with his disabilities and provide unconditional love.

3 months ago

Through partnership with Raise the Future, KSL's Wednesday's Child spotlight this week is 7-year-ol...

Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: 7-year-old Ptolemy has a beautiful mind and a big heart

Like many boys his age, Ptolemy loves loud toys, games, and music. But how he enjoys them is unique to him. Ptolemy is autistic.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Wednesday’s Child: Kaleb dreams of being a paleontologist