May is National Foster Care Month!
As a former foster youth on my own at 14 years old who went on to attain 2 Bachelor of Science degrees (Finance/Economics), a law degree, and now have my own sports/entertainment law practice, as well as counsel Fortune 500 companies and nonprofits on peak performance strategy, appear on television, radio, and print, as well as lead ministries and appear on boards of prominent organizations, I am truly blessed.
It is a miracle when you consider the statistics:
17 % of foster youth remain in foster care for 5 years or more.
Foster youth are 6 times as likely to be physically and sexually abused than children not in the foster care system.
Roughly half of foster youth become homeless when they turn 18.
3 in 10 individuals of the American homeless population are former foster youth.
25% of former foster youth suffer from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), a higher rate than combat veterans.
Former foster youth have double the rate of depression and suicide rate as those not in the system.
Roughly half of former youth graduate from high school.
1.8% of former foster youth attain a four year college degree.
A not yet measurable number of former foster youth attain a post secondary degree.
Please support initiatives designed to help former foster youth "age out" of the system. It is a time many foster youth are 18, lost, without much hope, love, and support, and find themselves victim to drugs, criminal activity, and nonproductivity. Here's how you can get involved:
Exavier B. Pope, Esq. is an entertainment and sports attorney, media personality, syndicated writer, Fortune 500 speaker and peak performance strategist, author, philanthropist, and sports business and law blogger for ChicagoNow. All opinions expressed are those solely of Mr. Pope.
(c) 2012, Exavier Pope
Follow the "Expectation" on Twitter: