With Victoria Rowell

of the things going on, on behalf of emancipating foster youth.

What can people do to help?
Mentorship is everything in all of our lives, whether we’re in foster care or not. Now, 20,000 to 25,000 children emancipate out of foster care at 18 years of age every year across the nation, and they’re left with no support — no medical, no dental, no stipend. As a result of their desperation to simply eat and put a roof over their heads, some have turned to crime and others to prostitution. We do have a high incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancy for our emancipating teens, and 40% do not finish high school. Needless to say, college is the last thing these kids are thinking about. It’s just not on the list because we’re talking about children who, if they were in a group home, now have to leave and find a place to live. They have to find employment. And from my own experience being emancipated in New York City at the age of 18, I couldn’t even get a credit card application accepted because I didn’t have an address.

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