For most high school seniors, graduation is a time to celebrate accomplishments and embark on a new chapter of life. Parents are typically overjoyed, throw their children graduation parties and take them shopping for anything they may need for their new college dorm room. Statistics show that almost 70% of graduating high school seniors enroll in college, but only 20% of foster youth attend college. So how can we help foster youth better prep for college? Project Graduation plays a significant role in just that.

What is Project Graduation?

 

For many young adults leaving foster care, having overwhelming support and celebration during this time isn’t necessarily a reality. At 18 years old, teens are aging out of the foster care system without the benefit of support most teens receive at this time. These teens need the support of the community to ensure they can be successful as they too start the next chapter of their lives.

Project Graduation is a day full of fun and encouragement hosted by the Center for Child Protection for foster children and their foster families. This event allows the graduates to commemorate how far they’ve come. They enjoy lunch, games, prizes and an improv show as well as hear success stories from previous foster care graduates. All teens also receive Life Kits containing the basic items needed to start an apartment or dorm room on their own. These kits include anything from sheets, comforters, towels, kitchen supplies, an alarm clock and more.

“This is an event that allows us to give back to the graduates and to celebrate one of the biggest accomplishments in their lives. Some of them aren’t able to have parties and that’s where we step in. They are encouraged to bring guests to celebrate with them. We have guest speakers come in who were in the foster care system themselves to give the youth encouragement to build their own lives,” said Brittany Williams, Center for Child Protection Program Manager. “My favorite part about this event is seeing the youth come in all nonchalant and at the end leaving with the biggest smiles.”

How Can You Get Involved?

 

There are a few ways to get involved with this meaningful event. Being involved on any level can make such a difference in the lives of children living in Central Texas.

Donate
You can donate items for Life Kits, entire Life Kits, prize baskets for the graduates or the monetary value of any of the above. Life Kits are valued at $200. For more information on what goes into a Life Kit, click here.

Become a Sponsor
We are always looking for sponsors to be involved with prizes, entertainment at the event, meals and desserts and much more. Events like these wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of our sponsors!

Volunteer
It takes a village to help our community’s children! If you’re interested in volunteering at Project Graduation or any of the Center’s other events, contact Anne West at awest@centerforchildprotection.org.

For more information on Project Graduation, contact Brittany Williams at bwilliams@centerforchildprotection.org or call 512-472-1164.