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MODESTO, CA, October 05, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Transitioning foster youth have limited resources and support as youth who grew up with their parents, and often face a variety of challenges as they transition from foster care to adulthood. Without being taught the life skills that lead to self-sufficiency, these youth often struggle to be successful in school, to get jobs, and to achieve financial stability.
In September 2015, Aspiranet and Stanislaus County Community Services Agency (CSA) collaborated to open the Independent Living Program (ILP) Youth Center in Stanislaus County with the vision of providing transitional aged youth with the vital skills and training necessary to successfully make the transition from foster care to independent living. One year later, the program has served over 1,300 youth through life skills classes and other self-sufficiency programs and activities.
"We are happy to celebrate our first year anniversary here at the Independent Living Program Youth Center," said Alma Garcia Mendoza, Aspiranet Program Director II. "We're grateful for the support the Stanislaus County Community Services Agency has given in order to successfully serve so many youth as they transition out of the foster care system and into adulthood."
Support from the ILP program includes training in areas that many teens take for granted: daily living skills, money management, decision making, building self-esteem, financial assistance with college or vocational schools, educational resources, leadership, transitional housing, and employment. Special activities this year included trips to San Jose State and San Francisco University to promote higher education, a leadership retreat in Pinecrest designed to prepare youth for their roles as leaders in their communities, a group trip to see the Sacramento Kings where most program participants experienced their first live basketball game, and the ILP graduation in June, which celebrated participants who successfully graduated from high school.
"Aspiranet and Stanislaus County Community Services Agency collaborated on the Independent Living Program one year ago with the vision of creating a safe and nurturing place that is youth driven and youth focused," said Nenita Dean, Manager IV at the Stanislaus County Community Services Agency. "We have come a long way in the last year, and although there is still a lot of work to do to increase partnerships and expand resources, I am confident that the dynamic CSA and Aspiranet team will accomplish its goals."
Aspiranet, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) strengthens children, youth, families and communities through seven core programs including: Foster Care, Adoption, Residential, Transition Age Youth, Behavioral Health, Intensive Home Based Services and Family and Community Services throughout 45 locations within California.
Founded in 1975 as a six-bed group home for young boys in Moss Beach, Calif., Aspiranet is one of the most diverse nonprofit social service agencies in the state. With a statewide network of innovative services, Aspiranet serves more than 10,000 families each year. For more information, please visit http://www.aspiranet.org.
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