When many teenagers enter their junior year of high school, their life pathways are somewhat charted. For some, the path leads to college. For others, a trade or technical school. For still others, finding employment. But often that path is set up starting with the freshman year.
LifeSet, a Youth Villages program for young adults who experienced foster care, meets young people where they are in life. Some need major support to help achieve goals as they enter adulthood. Others, though, already have the drive, but a little assistance is needed along the way.
Sometimes, it takes knowing others are proud of what you’ve accomplished. Every day, Youth Villages teaches young adults how to be resilient, face challenges head on and take strides to accomplish goals through its LifeSet program.
Dear Youth Villages, My name is Amber, and I am 23 years old. I lost my dad at a very young age and grew up with a mother who battled addiction and untreated trauma that led to many mental health problems leaving her incapable of caring for herself or for me.
Imagine this scenario: You’re a dormitory resident assistant (RA) on a college campus. A winter storm comes through, dumping several inches of snow and lowering temperatures below freezing. Then, the dorm’s pipes burst. Suddenly, your residents have no water—to drink, shower or even flush toilets. They all are looking to you for help and guidance.
Julie Lester, chief program officer for the Missouri Alliance for Children and Families (MACF), says the “Show-Me” State not only needed LifeSet but craved something like it. Initial implementation proceeded despite the pandemic, and now MACF is expanding LifeSet to a second location.
Nineteen-year-old Dallas, a young man in southwest Missouri, sees his LifeSet specialist as more than just a health professional working to help him. She’s more like a friend walking with him every step—something he hasn’t always had.
Darin Hudson is a Licensed Program Expert with Turning Points, a LifeSet implementing provider based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Darin joined Turning Points in 2014 and has grown his career with LifeSet. In this Q&A, Darin explores his journey from specialist to Licensed Program Expert with the hope of inspiring others to take the opportunity to grow with LifeSet.
K’laja is currently enrolled in Youth Villages’ LifeSet program, an intensive support program designed to help youth actualize their goals of self-sufficiency and independence as they prepare to age out of foster care. Without these supports, young people face far...
LifeSet interview with Linda Dixon, Ph.D., Administrator Transitional Supports and Success of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families