Foster teens who are “aging out” of the system will receive care packages thanks to the efforts of a local teenage Girl Scout.
For my Girl Scout Gold Award project I have created New Beginning Care Packages for 18-year olds who are “aging out” of foster care.
When a teenager who is in foster care turns 18, they “age out” of the system — the state no longer supports them and they have to move from their foster home to a small apartment or college dorm with little to no help. When I learned of this, I decided to create care packages to help them with their transition from their foster home to their new life.
In total there are 400,000 kids in foster care in the United States. Every year more than 27,000 teenagers “age out” of foster care. “Aging out” of foster care is when the young adult turns 18 the state no longer supports them and they have to move out to a small apartment or college dorm with little to no help from family or other organizations.
Statistics show that 40 percent of foster youth who have aged out end up becoming homeless. Only 50 percent of the “aged out” foster youth have jobs. 75 percent of women and 33 percent of men receive some type of government benefits.
New Beginning Care Packages include items to help these teens set up their new homes. To help me reach my goal, I set up donation boxes in the elementary schools to collect items for the kits. I also held a cookie booth. The money I raised went towards buying items for the boxes. These kits will help the teenager’s transition into a new life be a little easier. Some of the items that donated are: new washcloths, hand towels, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, razors, shaving cream, soap holders, toothbrush holders, and scales.
I chose this project because I am at the same point in my life as these foster teenagers. I will be going to college in the fall and cannot imagine going through the process of visiting schools and applying to schools and many other things without the help of my family. I am hoping the care packages I make will help make these young adults new beginnings easier.
For more information please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also visit my website: newbeginningcarepackages.weebly.com
Kayla Garcia is a senior at New Milford High School currently in the process of gaining her Girl Scout Gold Award.