By Raychel Stewart
For The Signal
Finally Family Homes is beginning the program Life Launch, which will provide lessons for transitioning youths in the Santa Clarita Valley starting Oct. 24 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Valencia Hills Community Church, and will take place each Thursday after.
People ages 17 to 21, foster youth or not, are encouraged to attend and receive a dinner, learn important life skills and develop relationships with role models.
Learning about the high number of homeless transitioning youths was the motivation to start this program, said Christina Dronen, founder of Finally Family Homes.
“I felt compelled to do something,” said Dronen. “I was really moved by the information so I wanted to start a program that can help empower the youth.”
Approximately 28% of California’s foster care population are age 14 and older, according to a report done by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The transitioning period from child to adulthood takes place from 16 to 24 and foster children are at risk of not successfully transitioning into adulthood, according to a study done by the Youth Advocate Program.
Life Launch will feature experts such as nutritionists, professional chefs, savings experts, and marriage and family therapists who will give presentations on how to eat healthy on a budget, manage and help others with anxiety and how to effectively save money.
Attendees will also have a chance to win prizes that coordinate with the topic of the week so they can practice what was taught.
The event is free of charge, but reservations are encouraged for dinner spots.
Finally Family Homes is a nonprofit organization dedicated to help foster youth transition into adulthood. For more information or to RSVP for the event, call 661-347-8502 or visit https://www.finallyfamilyhomes.org/life-launch/