We strive to help the youth we serve (age 16-24) to create permanent relationships within our community of mentors and influencers. Mentors provide a secure relationship and an unconditional commitment to each youth’s wellbeing.
Youth in and aging out of foster care face many challenges as they move into a new life often without a supportive network and connections. Many foster kids are aging out of the system and have nowhere to turn. 7 out of 10 foster kids say that they want to pursue college. Only 5% of kids who age out of the system will attend an institution of higher learning and only 30% of them will be able to graduate with a degree. What is the end result? These kids give up hope, stop caring, and are at a higher risk of violence and homelessness and often go on to repeat the cycle with their own children who are are at a higher risk for placement in foster care. Young people who age out of foster care without a permanent support system are more likely to be poor, to be homeless, to spend time in jail, and to have mental health and medical problems.
“The efforts [in preparing youths] have historically been focused on skill building—how to budget money or buy food, for instance—but research shows that the most important predicator of success in youths who are aging out is not skills but relationships.”
– Debra Schilling Wolfe*
Helping youth develop meaningful relationships that they can rely on after foster care requires planning. It involves locating and supporting sustainable connections who can help them take their first steps into adulthood. A permanent relationship is a connection with at least one adult who provides a safe, stable and secure relationship and an unconditional commitment to the youth’s wellbeing.
The Colorado Teen Project picks up where foster care leaves off for youth aging out of foster care. We help youth with their educational plans, career goals, in building resources and resilience, and in creating lasting relationships to help them navigate the next chapter in their lives with confidence and support.
A small monthly gift to The Colorado Teen Project is an easy, affordable way to support us in our mission. In 2017 we have been expanding our efforts to reach more at-risk youth aging out of foster care in Colorado. By committing to a recurring donation for 2017/2018, your donation can make a huge difference over the long haul and financially anchor critical programs.