Step up, Step out
Hope For Youth wants to ensure that all of our youth have the tools and resources they need in order to be successful. Hope For Youth’s Step up, Step out program helps to ensure youth aging out of foster care are offered mentorships, career preparation, and ongoing support services once leaving the structure of Hope For Youth.
The program also seeks to increase the number of alumni who attend college and remain connected with Hope For Youth long-term. Hope For Youth does this by partnering with generous community donors as well as foundations to be able to provide funds for things used toward the expenses that youth in our programs have related to college or vocational school such as transportation expenses, SAT’s, college apps, suits for interviews, etc. Hope For Youth also provides professional coaching to our youth. Hope For Youth pairs youth with those in the youth’s field of interest to help them experience the working world.
The following is a great example of how Step up, Step out funds are put to good use: A young man came to our Runaway & Homeless Youth Shelter from a local psychiatric hospital, after having had a physical altercation with his parent. He shared with HFY staff early on that he had trouble managing his emotions especially when he got angry. Staff was able to access mental health treatment using a local youth bureau’s free therapy program. Over the course of three months, he has had a handful of situations where he chose healthy coping mechanisms to express his feelings. He holds a full-time job, to save his money so he can be independent. He has learned the Suffolk County bus system, has learned to budget his money, and has grown socially and emotionally during his time within the Shelter. As staff worked with him, the youth was able to identify a mentor that he had lost touch with. Staff assisted him in locating the individual and re-establishing their relationship. The best case scenario occurred and upon discharge from the Shelter the young man is relocating to the mentor’s home state, and he is so excited to begin a new school year, in a new state, with a fresh start.