March 20, 2019

On today's show, we talk with Stand Up for Kids Atlanta, a nonprofit serving homeless and at-risk youth.  Later, Bruce Gale brings us an interview with one of our earlier Kid Heroes, Kylee McCumber.

Turning 18 means becoming a young adult and gaining independence for most of our youth.  They have been prepared to face the challenges of life on their own. Many are off to college while others join the workforce.  They know they can pick up a phone and call home and turn to family for help with basic life skills — laundry, opening a bank account, navigating financial aid for college, or preparing for a job interview. 

But for some, this milestone isn’t an event to celebrate.  For more than 23,000 young adults in America, turning 18 or 21 means aging out of the foster care system – this depends on the state in which they live.  Children with a diagnosed disability of any kind, including a learning disability, are twice as likely to age out of the foster care system.

These youth were never fortunate to be adopted and are now considered “too old” to stay in the system. They are now without a family and without the skills to make it on their own.  They have no type of support, no one to call.

Youth in foster care need and deserve the same kinds of support as those who grow up in a loving home.

• Twenty percent of youth who were in foster care will become instantly homeless upon aging out of the system. 

• About 25 percent who age out of the system will not graduate from high school or be able to pass their GED.  

With the lack of education and necessary independent living skills, the risk of unemployment is very high. 

This brings us to todays highlighted charity, Stand Up for Kids...

StandUp For Kids - Atlanta has been serving homeless and at-risk youth since 2003. The organization was founded in 1990 by a group of volunteers in San Diego, CA and has grown to locations in 18 cities across 11 states and the District of Columbia. @sufkAtlanta

The nonprofit works not just with minors, but with youth through the age of 25. They recognize that there are very few developmentally appropriate services to serve young people after 18 in the adult homeless system, so they step in with resources to help these youth when they ‘age out’ of most other programs.  Their four core programs include Street Outreach, Outreach Centers, Mentoring, and Apartment Support.

Their mission is to end the cycle of youth homelessness and they do this every day in cities across America, one youth at a time.  

Bev had the opportunity to talk with Mentoring Coordinator, Tina Camden.

Today we look back at Kid Hero, Kylee McCumber, who founded Kylee’s Kare Kits for Kidz in 2012 at the young age of 10 after she noticed children eating breakfast in the school’s cafeteria. When she found out they didn’t have enough food to eat at home she knew she needed to do something to help them. She started with providing food for 10 children. Now 16 years old, Kylee’s program provides Kare Kits to 438 children every week.

She has traveled to the Philippines, India, Dominican Republic and France.  She works part-time at Market Basket as well. 

Kylee traveled to Mumbai, India as part of the Unilever Project Sunlight program to film a commercial to raise awareness about child hunger.   She was a guest on the Queen Latifah. Along with awards and stories on national TV shows and networks, Kylee also travelled to Washington, D.C. where she received a citation from Congressman James McGovern. @KyleesKareKitsForKidz

Bruce Gale brings us this interview with Kylee. 

Kylee and Friends
Kylee and Friends