TMARSHAL

The Age Out Foundation

 

The percentage of youth that age out of the foster care system increases every year.  Just in 2011, more than 26,000 teens aged out of the system.  Over 2 decades ago, I was one of these teens.  I was emancipated from the foster care system and received little guidance on what to do with my life.  I could have easily been included in one or more of the statistics listed below.

 

According to various studies across the country of young people who have aged out of foster care without a permanent family:

 

•12-30 percent struggled with homelessness

 

 •40-63 percent did not complete high school

 

 •25-55 percent was unemployed; those employed had average earnings below the poverty level, and only 38 percent of those employed were still working after one year

 

 •30-62 percent had trouble accessing health care due to inadequate finances or lack of insurance

 

 •32-40 percent was forced to rely on some form of public assistance and 50 percent experienced extreme financial hardship

 

 •31-42 percent had been arrested

 

 •18-26 percent was incarcerated

 

 •40-60 percent of the young women were pregnant within 12-18 months of leaving foster care.

 

The “Age-Out” Foundation was created to assist teens that are transitioning from the foster care system into adulthood.  The foundation’s mission is to help provide some of the resources needed to begin living a productive and fulfilled life.  In many instances these teens need to receive some of the resources years before they are emancipated from the system.   Activities the foundation plans to support includes but is not limited to:

 

• Mentoring Programs

 

• Scholarships

 

• Educational and Financial Workshops

 

• Job Placement

 

• Counseling

 

• Transition Residence Placement

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