Age Out

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Arizona presently has over 16,000 children (infants/kids/teens) in its foster care program.  It is incredibly difficult for those in their teen years to find a permanent adoptive family.  As a result, they often are transitioned from foster home to group home to foster home, in a variety of locations around the state.  While it is very challenging for these teens, that effectively do not have a “family” to call their own, add the pressures experienced on most high school campuses today and it is understandable why many do not finish their education before “aging out” of the foster care program.   As many as 10% of these kids will “age out” of the system each year, with no support group (or family), and most often without a high school diploma or equivalent.  They often end up on the streets, with no home, and no job.  Instead of being confident that they can seek gainful employment as a high school graduate, most turn to survival modes that have a huge negative impact on their communities.  Even worse, for 75% of the males in this group, it costs them their “freedom.”   The E.A.R.N. Age Out project would help these teens by creating an academic support system for each, based on their best path for success.  One that follows them whatever foster home or group home (and/or school district) they may transition to.  One that puts an emphasis on them to graduate and can even follow them if they are close to completion even after their 18th birthday.  This support system can begin as early as age 14. This program will go beyond an academic accomplishment to include trade specific options that can ensure they are gainfully employed at or before they “age out.”   It will be supported by key academic, industry and community services providers to ensure these students the same opportunity for a bright future that every child deserves![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]