June 21, 2004
CHARLOTTE, NC - Growing up in the custody of Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS) is not a story most foster teens would want to write about for their high school English class.
For these foster youth, life after high school presents a unique challenge because they need outside help to transition into adulthood. But they do have the Phoenix Project, a DSS Youth & Family Services (YFS) program that works with foster care youth to transition them out of custody and into the community to living independently.
This year, through the Phoenix Project, Mecklenburg County is proud to announce the graduation of 11 teens that have been in the custody of DSS. Eight of the youth plan to continue their education by attending area colleges, two others plan to enter Job Corps and one of the youth will enter the workplace.
Phoenix Project staff work one-on-one with teenagers in foster care to provide information on how to: interview for a job, open a savings account, search for housing, make positive choices, live on a budget and much more.
On Friday, June 18, DSS staff and agency partners honored the youth by holding a barbecue and presenting them with a gift to help with their transition into adulthood. DSS awarded each graduate a personal computer with accessories. The gift packet is a Toshiba M200 Portege Convertible Tablet Personal Computer, including an external DVD/LDRW drive, external floppy drive, Microsoft Office 2003, a styled backpack and a security cable to lock the personal computer to a desk.
The congratulatory cookout was held from noon to 2 p.m. at
Youth Homes, Inc.
Gateway Transitional Home
421 Louise Avenue
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Media Contact: Darrell Cunningham, 704-336-3286 or