Thursday, June 28, 2007

Our Kids

"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family:Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one." - Jane Howard

For use triathlon is a family-affair. We're sisters. Our husbands are our training partners, cheerleaders, and bike mechanics. Our parents send emotional support. Our multi-faceted tribe motivates us to keep going....and we race in celebration of our extended Genesis Home family -families who are working to move into lives of stability, instead of homelessness.
In that spirit of family, Kristen McClarin is one of our kids. Kristen is one of the 600 young people in North Carolina who will turn 18 this year, age of out of foster care, and be left on their own.
The statistics are grim. According to this week's paper:
" Most former foster children fare badly. They're more likely to end up living on the streets or having babies before they're ready. A quarter end up in jail within two years of leaving foster care, one study found. Another study found less than 3 percent attained degrees by age 25. That's compared with about a quarter of young adults who didn't come of age in foster homes."
These statistics and Kristen's story demonstrate for us how critical initiatives like Genesis Home's Independent Living Program are. ILP helps kids just like Kristen continue to find their way -- when a family isn't around to show them.