Assistance League® of Santa Barbara Provides Life Skills Event for Foster Care Youth

How does a teenager emancipated from the foster care system learn to find housing, fill out a job application or apply for credit? Many have not received the guidance to prepare them for the real-life choices and challenges of adulthood.

On April 13, Assistance League of Santa Barbara staged a “Mock City” to provide that important guidance.

Approximately 50 foster youth from Santa Barbara County visited a variety of booths where they received advice on insurance issues, educational opportunities, banking procedures, military careers, public transportation, household budgeting and renting an apartment. To prepare for job hunting, students learned how to fill out an application and Dress for Success. They were even able to take part in a mock interview.

Meredith Scott brought “Mock City” to Santa Barbara a year ago after seeing a similar event in Camarillo. She approached Assistance League of Santa Barbara with the idea, which was a natural extension of their Fostering Friends program where teenagers are assisted in making the transition from foster care to independent living.

More than 50 Assistance League members greeted and counseled their guests, along with community volunteers willing to share their professional expertise. Booths were manned by representatives from local universities and banks, dental and health care providers, day care professionals and many others. A popular feature was the grocery store where participants shopped for a week’s worth of food, used coupons and wrote checks.

After a full day of “traveling” through the city, the hungry guests were treated to a barbecue donated and prepared by the Kiwanis Club of the South Coast. A perfect ending to a full and informative day.

Guests at Mock City receive financial advice from volunteer Rita Lewis
Click to enlarge photo

Gwen Randolph

Guests at Mock City receive financial advice from volunteer Rita Lewis

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