Each year 23,000 teens age out of the foster care system when they turn 18. One out of every five youth who age out of foster care end up homeless. Less than 60% will graduate high school and only 3% graduate college. 71% of females will be pregnant by age twenty-one and often times their child ends up in fostercare repeating this vicious cycle. 60% of kids who have been involved in sex trafficking were in fostercare. These are significant issues and unjust for our young people to be cast out into society under such dire circumstances.
We are determined about teaming up with others to come around this issue. We have started a mentoring program called, EMERGE. Our mentors are committed to meet weekly with their mentees to get to know them, offer support and help them navigate life issues. These mentors will be a consistent outlet and resource for these young adults so they can bring some stability to their lives.
We have learned people heal best in community so we have identified a 16 acre property ($1.6 million dollars) where 20 youth who aged out of fostercare will be able to live, learn life skills, and get the support they need in order to launch out into adulthood well when they're ready.
Education is key to any success in the future, to that end, we will assist these young adults to seek higher education or attend a trade program. Tutoring and education success programs will be available free of charge. Trade opportunities will also be provided to align with their passions. Equipping these young adults with education/trade will ensure options in their futures that can help them succeed. While on the path to stronger education, we will use our network of volunteers and an on-site wedding and events venue ($1 million for renovations for the events business) to place them in jobs. This will develop important job-related skill sets and work ethic critical to long-term success. We will provide resume help, interview techniques, and a clear understanding of what employers expect from employees. Every attempt will be made to align jobs to their individual passions.
There will be two or three trained adults who live in the house, providing a stable family environment, teach important life skills, and be there to love on them. They will no longer have to fear for their safety or where they will spend the night. This provides the first and most important step to begin the process of putting these young adults on the path to success. The program will have attainable benchmarks to ensure they all learn basic life skills, which will be critical to their individual success in the future.
We do not take lightly the seriousness of the responsibility we are taking on, but cannot have the knowledge of this situation and simply let it continue. We are committed to helping these young people move from a future that is bleak to one of hope and love. We are committed to the success of this program and we’re excited about teaming up with others to make this a success. We would be honored to have you participate with us to help these young adults have real hope for their future.
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