Mentor program helps foster kids step into adulthood

PHOENIX - A mentoring program is looking for more volunteers to help foster kids prepare for success as adults.

Arizona had more than 700 teens who "age out" of the foster care system each year, according to Arizona's Children Association, a group that offers support services to foster families.

ACA runs the THRIVE Mentor Program to provide one-on-one support to these teens. Program administrators hope to reduce rates of homelessness and pregnancy among these youth, while also increasing graduation rates and life skills.  

Mary Sherman was paired with 18-year-old Gabby Kill in August. Both made a 2-year commitment, and they meet once a week.

"One thing she [Mary] has really helped me out a lot with is picking a college and picking my major and what I want to do," Kill said.

"I'm a listener and a supporter," Sherman said. "I'm a positive role model — giving her different perspectives on life and different decisions."

THRIVE currently has 34 mentor pairs, but the program wants to double the number of participants this year. To learn more about volunteering, email mentor@arizonaschildren.org

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