Ready for Life Executive Director is Guest Speaker at Rotary Club Meeting
Kathy Mize, Executive Director of Ready For Life, speaking on Foster Care Youth who are aging out of the foster care system
Kathy Mize and April White from Ready For Life spoke recently to the Rotary Club of Clearwater at a Wednesday noon meeting at the Belleair Country Club, about the unique issues facing foster youth who are aging out of the foster care system.
Ready For Life is a new organization, formed in January 2009, that is a true community initiative seeking to assist young adults as they make the transition from foster care to young adulthood. Once they turn eighteen, young adults age out of the foster care system. This transition occurs without regard to outside considerations, such as whether the teen is still in high school, has a place to live, a mode of transportation or employment. Many of these young adults have no clear plan as to how to get a job, obtain housing or basically live on their own. Despite the issues facing them, they are still forced to live independently once they turn eighteen.
Ready For Life saw a need and was formed specifically to assist these young adults in Pinellas County with the issues they face during this difficult transition. The mission of Ready For Life is to engage foster care youth, private citizens and public resources to assist Pinellas County foster youth in a successful transition to adulthood. In this regard, Ready For Life understands that in order to have a successful transition, these youth require strong support services and need to have a voice in and be a resource for everything the program does.
Kathy Mize is the Executive Director of Ready For Life. April White is a Ready For Life Youth Leader and a former foster youth. April was raised in the foster care system, lived in 32 different foster homes and had two failed adoptions. April is helping Ready For Life reach other youth and provides a youth voice for the program. April is currently enrolled in college and pursuing a career in social work. To learn more, you can contact Ready For Life at 2731 13th Avenue North, St. Pete, FL 33713 or by phone at 727-631-1778. You can also visit the website at www.readyforlifepinellas.org.
April White, a Ready For Life Youth Leader, and a former foster youth, provides personal insight into the need to help graduates from foster care, who must leave the program due to "age."
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