Making a home for children who age out of foster care

Boysville Inc. offers supervised independent living program

By Stephanie Serna - Reporter, Chris Shadrock - Web - News Producer

SAN ANTONIO - Home for the holidays. It is a phrase we hear a lot this time of year.

For some children who age out of the foster care system, however, there's not a place to call home to during the holidays.

That is where Boysville inc. steps in.

It has a supervised independent living program to help these young adults and gives them the support they need to get through college.

For Kiara Pickens, she is home.

"I came back with a big smile,” she said. “Everybody saw me (and) they were like, ‘Kiara!’ I loved it."

Pickens was a track star at Judson High School and is now a student at the University of North Texas on a track scholarship.

But the five-hour drive between her new home and old one was noticeable.

"It was hard because being on my own is different," she said.

She is one of 13 young adults in college that Boysville is helping support.  

“Less than 2 percent of kids who are in the foster care system who attend college, less than 2 percent are going to graduate from college,” Beth Green, chief development officer at Boysville, said. “So having a support system like our supervised independent living program is so important because everybody knows how hard the first semester of college can be and we just want these kids to be successful."

The program not only provides financial support for living expenses but also emotional support.

"We get so excited to see our kids when they come home, but especially Kiara, because she's a really special kid," Perkins said.

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