Letters to the Editor

CASA of SLO County needs mentors for foster children

For recent high school graduates, this is an exciting time of preparation for the next stage of their lives. However, though 86 percent of the U.S. population graduates from high school, only 58 percent of teens in foster care graduate by the time they’re 19 years old. And of the foster youths who go to college, less than 10 percent will earn a bachelor’s degree.

These statistics are disheartening and demonstrate why it’s so important for youths to have supportive adults in their lives. Imagine what it is like for a teen in foster care — how scary to stand on the brink of adulthood without guidance from a parent or caregiver.

Thankfully, members of our community volunteer to provide the support some of these teens need. Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA volunteers, work with children and teens in foster care, supporting them in various aspects of their life, including education.

CASA volunteers often ensure teens’ academic credits move with them if they change schools, and help them consider life choices as they transition to adulthood. This summer, help bolster those who most need our assistance and encouragement. Become a CASA volunteer and pave the way for a foster child’s future. A six-week training session for volunteers begins Aug. 9. For more information, go to www.SLOCASA.org.

Katie Robinson, Program Director, SLOCASA