Challenges Faced by Young Adults Aging Out of Foster Care
Aging out of the foster care system presents young adults with significant challenges. Young adults in Virginia are eligible for limited financial assistance to help them transition to adulthood and success with programs like “Great Expectations” through the community college system. But while this financial assistance and supportive guidance is available for a relatively brief period, these young adults do not have the longer-term support, stability and focus provided in traditional family settings.
Workforce Outcomes and Limited Understanding
According to Voices for Virginia’s Children, “when looking at the numerous challenges that face youth aging out of foster care, workforce outcomes are a key issue, but one in which we have a limited understanding. We know that 20% of youth in foster care are aging out and only 50% of those youth will have steady employment by 24. With estimates of 650 youth aging out of care in Virginia each year (this number only continues to rise), this would mean roughly 325 youth per year being unemployed or underemployed. Many barriers contribute to the employment struggles of these youth including homelessness and mental health concerns which can create exponential challenges to obtaining or maintaining employment.” You can learn more about the challenges of youth aging out of foster care at Voices’ Blog
MBT and DePaul Community Resources Partnership
More Better Technology (MBT) has teamed up with DePaul Community Resources to help supplement and enhance supportive resources available to youth aging out of the foster care system. The goal is to give a more friendly “human face” to technology careers and instill a sense in the youth that a technology career is realistically attainable. During our initial phase, resources from MBT and DePaul are working together to identify how MBT can best provide aid and support to DePaul and the young adults in DePaul’s care.
Quarterly Meetings and Mentorship in Technology Sector
MBT has commenced holding quarterly meetings with young individuals eager to explore potential career paths within the technology sector. Moreover, MBT has successfully started interacting with and mentoring these youths in their educational journey through the community college system. As a testament to their efforts, MBT has already assisted one student in enrolling in technology courses and arranging for a tutor.
Building Relationships and Removing Barriers
The emphasis of this initiative will be for MBT resources to forge relationships with the youth by providing insights into our backgrounds, how we arrived at technology careers, and listening to the youth to understand their concerns and help remove barriers that may only exist in their assumptions.
DePaul’s Perspective: Excitement for the Partnership
MBT’s primary liaison at DePaul, Chelsie Wilson, Manager of Independent Living relates “We are excited about partnering with MBT and appreciate their commitment to providing support to the youth and young adults that we serve.”
MBT’s Commitment to Community and Support
MBT is delighted and determined to be an asset to the community and help make the community work better for everyone. Providing these young adults with nurturing, supportive guidance from older adults as they mature in early adulthood is a source of pride and strength at MBT.
The Role of Corporate Citizens in Community Development
Corporate citizens can be great partners and sources of talent and creativity in a community. Leveraging all the assets available in a community maximizes results for everyone. At the end of the day, we all want to make a difference and show we care.