Foundation Helps Foster Youth Receive Laptop Computers
Auburn, CA-The Board of Directors and staff at the Placer Community Foundation have identified an urgent community need among foster youth-a need that provides a unique opportunity for local philanthropists to invest in the future of these young minds. For a modest donation, members of the community can assist these youth with their education by helping them receive a laptop computer. A laptop computer will give foster youth the ability to do schoolwork, search for jobs, and stay connected to family and friends.
In Placer County, statistics show that 287 children are currently in formal foster care. Without sufficient resources forty-five percent of these youth will need to repeat a grade level or be placed in special education classes. Forty-six percent will drop out or fail to get their GED by the time they are 19-years-old. Seventy percent will access public welfare benefits within the first four years of becoming an adult. Fifty-one percent will be homeless at some point. Fifty percent will be unemployed. Twenty-five percent will be incarcerated, and less than three percent of them will earn a college degree.
"I became a foster parent quite by accident," said a foster mother who wishes to remain anonymous. "My 16-year-old daughter's friend needed emergency placement in order to stay at the same school, so she came into my care at the beginning of her junior year in high school. The process has been pretty smooth and my foster daughter is really sweet and adjusting well." The challenge came when her foster daughter needed access to a computer to do homework. Since the foster mother works from home, she needs access to her computer at all times. Her daughter has a laptop, but needs it to do her own homework. "While I was able to take on the financial implications of having another child in the home, I was unable to provide a laptop for my foster daughter which meant three people sharing two computers to do equally important work."
There is a lot of pressure for high school students to stay on top of their work. They are expected to have access to a computer and have access to the internet. This can be a financial hardship for families and can also embarrassing for students who are unable to access those things. Falling behind in school work makes it very difficult and sometimes impossible to catch up. Students are commonly told to go to the library or use labs at the school. This is not always realistic if they are involved in sports or after school activities.
"When my foster daughter was removed from her home, it was incredibly hard on her. Having access to a program that would help provide her with a laptop makes so much sense, and would be extremely helpful to the families that care for foster youth."
This program was developed through a partnership with the Placer Community Foundation, the nonprofit organization iFoster, and the County of Placer. For about $200, one foster youth can receive a laptop computer of their own and have the chance to create a positive path for their future. The Robert Kemp Community Fund at Placer Community Foundation has stepped up with a challenge grant and will match every contribution up to $30,000. Contributions of all sizes are welcome and are tax-deductible. To give online, visit http://www.placercf.org/giving/give-online. A gift by check that is payable to Placer Community Foundation and notes the Fostering Futures Fund is also welcome, as are gifts of appreciated stock.
About Placer Community Foundation
Placer Community Foundation is a local expert, personalized service provider, and a community catalyst for donors and professional advisors in Placer County. With a mission of growing local giving to benefit the community, they are known for sound financial management and knowledge of the nonprofit sector. They continuously monitor their community to better understand the nature of local needs, so that they can invest in areas such as arts and culture, education, health and human services, and the environment. Since 1948, they have granted over $3 million and currently have assets of $8.5 million. To learn more about PCF, visit www.placercf.org.
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