For most teenagers, graduating high school is an exciting time. However, for those in foster care, it can also be very scary. To make the leap less overwhelming, the Lubbock Transition Center is holding a special event Thursday to help students transition into post-high school life.
Thursday morning at 11:30 a.m., the organization will celebrate the high school and college graduations for more than 19 current and former youth in foster care. The event is called the "Hope Chest" and the goal is to recognize the achievements these students have made and prepare them for their next step of independence.
After the luncheon, the students will be given $550 to spend at Target, where they are expected to buy things they need post-high school.
"We give them a budget, we send them with a volunteer or a staff member and they have to calculate how much they're spending and what they're buying," said Kami Jackson, Director of the Lubbock Transition Center.
Students will purchase items like bedding, towels, shower curtains and other things needed for dorm or apartment life.
Jackson says the Lubbock Transition Center serves as a one-stop shop for youth who are aging out of the foster care system. They help students between the ages of 14 and 25 prepare for life in the real world.
"We provide necessities for education, jobs, scholarships, applications to college and financial aid for college. We provide free counseling," Jackson said.
This will be the 7th year that "Hope Chest" has been in operation. All of the funds are raised completely from donations.
While the students are incredibly thankful for the money, Jackson says they benefit most from the love and attention they receive from the organization.
"They need time, they need individual attention from people. They need people in their lives that care about them," Jackson said.
The "Hope Chest" Luncheon takes place Thursday, at 11:30 a.m. at the Experience Life Campus, which is at 1313 13th Street. The shopping extravaganza event at Target will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the University and Loop 289 location.
For more information about the Lubbock Transition Center and how you can donate, visit: www.discoverbcfs.com
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