Transitioning Foster Youth Defy the Odds, Graduate High School
Independent Living Skills Program gives teens much-needed boost for life skills and furthering education
For most teens, graduating high school is a noteworthy turning point. The celebrated milestone not only marks the next chapter of their educational careers, but it also symbolizes their transition into adulthood. However, for teens living in foster care, the scenario can be quite different, with only 50 percent receiving their high school diploma, and about 10 percent attending college.
On May 22, 39 teens transitioning out of foster care will be a part of a ceremony for successfully completing high school and participating in the Stanislaus County Independent Living Skills Program (ILP), a collaborative effort between Stanislaus County Community Services Agency and Aspiranet.
In 2015, Stanislaus County awarded the ILP contract to Aspiranet, one of the largest California non-profits that collaborates with a statewide network of partners to ensure that youth who are aging out of foster care are equipped to navigate the hurdles of young adulthood and become productive members of their communities. This fiscal year alone, Aspiranet ILP has been able to serve more than 650 foster youth residing in this county. The program provides an array of services aimed at preparing transition age youth (TAY) for life after foster care. Support from the ILP includes: Daily living skills, money management, decision making, building self-esteem, educational field trips to colleges, mentoring, mental health referrals, educational resources, transitional housing, volunteering and employment.
“Through the ILP Center, we are able to provide a safe environment for our foster youth to gain life skills that will prepare them in their transition to adulthood,” says Alma Garcia Mendoza, Core Program Director II of Aspiranet TAY Programs in Stanislaus County. “We teach about the importance of education in order to increase the odds of a more stable future. We ensure our youth are getting the appropriate resources so they can learn to be self-sufficient and reach their goals. We’re very proud of all of our graduates for reaching this important milestone.”
Who: Student graduates, Aspiranet officials, Stanislaus County Community Services officials. Commencement speaker is motivational speaker Angel Fuentes, former foster youth and ILP/Transitional Housing graduate.
What: Graduation ceremony for 39 ILP graduates
When: Monday, May 22, at 6 p.m.
Where: Martin G. Peterson Event Center, 720 12th St., Modesto, Calif.
Interview opportunities: Graduates, and Aspiranet and Stanislaus County representatives
Aspiranet is a 501(c) (3), California nonprofit organization with the mission of providing children, youth, and families with a foundation of support and services so they can succeed at home, at school, and in their communities. Aspiranet offers a unique blend of services including foster family support, adoption through foster care, services for foster youth transitioning to adulthood, mental health services, residential care, intensive home-based care, and community-based family resources. For more than 40 years, Aspiranet has been dedicated to offering outstanding services that impact more than 35,000 children, youth and parents at 33 community-based sites statewide. For more information, visit www.aspiranet.org
Aspiranet is a 501(c) (3), California nonprofit organization with the mission of providing children, youth, and families with a foundation of support and services so they can succeed at home, at school, and in their communities.
May 15, 2017