Transitioning into adulthood at 18 is difficult for most teens. When you consider that kids in foster care “age out” with little or no support, it can become very problematic quickly. Of those just aging out of the foster care system, 48% are unemployed, 40% experience homelessness, 50% have experienced substance abuse, 17% of females are pregnant and 60% of males have been convicted of a crime.
These are grim statistics, but we’ve never been scared of a problem worth solving at Camp Horizon. Our Camp Horizon Adult Mentoring Program (CHAMPs) program is our newest program, with its sight set squarely on changing the odds for our campers as they “age out” of the system.
Our young adult campers (age 18-24) remain in the “family” through CHAMPs, where they are afforded guidance and assistance with real life issues like creating a budget, buying a car or renting an apartment for the first time.
Our CHAMPs volunteers serve in a traditional mentor role, serving as a sounding board on topics as varied as careers, health, friendships, and education. As with any young adult, CHAMPs campers need guidance, support, and love as they learn to navigate an adult life.
Our goal is to foster a path into a healthy, productive adulthood paved with good decisions and personal successes. Through our ongoing CHAMPs programming, we aim to create a supportive environment where campers can continue to experience the feeling of family, as well as openly express their hopes, fears and dreams.
We encourage our CHAMPs participants to become productive employees and entrepreneurs, participating citizens, active volunteers at Camp Horizon and in their communities, and, perhaps most importantly, loving parents.