We have been very fortunate that both are girls have been able to go to college; and while the expense has been hard it has been managed. Beyond application, tuition and room and board there were a whole host of expenses that came with moving in. We navigated trips to Target, Walmart and the grocery store numerous times. We all worked together, child, parent and siblings. Some kids are not that fortunate.
I recently attended an event where one of my favorite authors, Vanessa Diffenbaugh, was speaking about her latest book We never asked for wings. She told about her personal life which involved accidentally becoming a foster mother. Her story and her books are filled with perspectives from so many angles and parts of society many of us never think about. She talked about an event known in the foster world as "aging out" where kids in the system turn 18 and n longer are taken care of by the state or their assigned foster family. These children were never adopted and are now adults thrown out into society with very little experience of what to do next. Many without skills of money management , work experience or how to apply for college or fill out the FASFA find themselves homeless, addicted or incarcerated. The 18-24 age demographic constitute a significant portion of our prison population.
SIDE NOTE: Someone here is going to say "The system should have prepared them better." Indeed they should have. Yet since they didn't an advocate is needed to make that a happen. So if at this point of the blog you are raging about that, leave this page and research your states foster system and how you can contribute to the betterment of it. If you want to find out how you can be a part of helping a recently aged out foster child to having a great start at adulthood then stay tuned. If your not interested in either and your still griping about who shoulda, woulda, coulda then please stop reading this blog- your not my people and nothing I write here will inspire you. I have experienced this scenario so many times in person that I just wanted to be transparent.
If you are a young adult going to college or working I challenge you to choose one item on this registry and help out a peer. Use your own money, not your parents, and see how you can empower your own generation.