The Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation (AFFCF), located at 360 East Coronado Road, has announced its Keys to Success Virtual Walk, taking place Thursday, April 16 through Sunday, May 31 and coinciding with National Foster Care Awareness Month. On Saturday, May 9, an actual event will take place whereupon the young women and men serving on the Keys to Success Youth Advisory Board (YAB) that created the Virtual Walk, will meet and walk in solidarity for this cause.
“The Keys to Success program has been instrumental in the lives of youth that are aging out of foster care and we are so inspired by the work of the YAB members who want to support these endeavors,” says Kris Jacober, executive director of the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation. “The numbers don’t lie — in 2019 alone 91 percent of program participants secured employment within one year of enrollment and 88 percent of age-appropriate participants enrolled in post-secondary education or training.”
The Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation’s Keys to Success program addresses the unique needs and challenges facing youth transitioning from foster care. As the only program of its kind, Keys to Success provides career development services for youth aging out of foster care that lead them to discover their potential and a pathway to employment.
The YAB members created this fundraiser to support the very program that they received support from as they aged out of foster care. The funds raised support critical services via the Keys to Success Program such as career development and employment services including job interviewing skills, resume writing skills and job placement assistance. The program also helps youth with education so they can graduate or earn their GED as well as connects them to essential resources and services that help them either go to college or trade school and have a career.
In an effort to raise funds to ensure other youth just like them have the same opportunities, YAB members’ goal through the Keys to Success Virtual Walk is to secure 200 registered participants and to raise $10,00 for the Keys to Success Program. Sign-up cost is $35 which includes a fundraising page , a walk kit including a walk-branded T-shirt and other goodies, and a fundraising toolkit. Participants can choose how and where they will walk, run, hike or even use a treadmill, and are encouraged to reach out to family, friends colleagues and others to sponsor their efforts and raise funds for Keys to Success. Registration can be done via www.ktswalk.affcf.org.
To date, the AFFCF has made 50,589 awards totaling nearly $10.6 million to children in foster care in Arizona. These funds go towards assistance in school, music or dance lessons, or sports equipment to ensure each child in foster care in Arizona experiences the kind of childhood every child deserves. Each month, Thrive AZ assists more than 100 families to help prevent children from having to enter into the foster care system or reunifying those already in the systems as well as assist foster youth once they turn 18 and have no place else to turn.