The Issue: Challenges After Aging Out of Foster Care
Each year, more than 27,000 youth age out of foster care. Without the safety net of emotional or financial support from family, the transition to adulthood can be far more challenging for these young adults than their peers. According to the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, nearly 40% of them experience homelessness, and a large percentage struggle with unemployment and substance abuse. With the help of a trusted adult mentor, though, these youth can leave foster care better prepared to succeed as adults.
The Campaign: Sending Foster Teens to Summer Camp
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by the Teen Leadership Foundation to help teens in foster care to attend summer camp. For every $250 raised, Teen Leadership Foundation can cover the costs for one foster youth to attend a three-day, overnight camp. Each additional $250 raised will be used to send another foster youth in the Orange County area to camp.
Teen Leadership Foundation’s three-day weekend camps are designed for youth aged 12 to 18 who are living in foster care. Each teen works with a carefully screened and matched adult who serves as a mentor during creative activities focused on leadership, team building, and problem-solving skills. Campers build confidence, trust, and self-esteem during fun challenges, such as climbing an 80-foot-tree before rappelling down. Other activities include high ropes, crafts, hiking, and swimming.
Teen Leadership Foundation
While statistics for teenagers aging out of foster care often look bleak—with many becoming pregnant, incarcerated, or homeless at a young age—Lisa Castetter believes it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s why she founded the Teen Leadership Foundation in 2008. By equipping youth with leadership and teamwork skills prior to their emancipation from foster care, the organization helps them enter adult life feeling empowered and backed by a support system.
Stable, adult mentors serve as positive role models, helping teens build confidence, trust, and self-esteem. Transitional-age foster youth work with their mentors and other community leaders during the foundation’s workshops, where they receive training in getting jobs, managing their money, enrolling in school, and developing other skills crucial to living independently. Additionally, the organization’s three-day leadership camps provide opportunities for foster youth to participate in fun, challenging activities with mentors and peers.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.