The Trawick Foundation and the HSC Foundation Announce Three Grant Awards for Youth in Transition

Date: Feb 17, 2012

(GAITHERSBURG, MD) – The Trawick Foundation (www.trawick.org) and its funding partner, The HSC Foundation (www.hscfoundation.org), are pleased to announce three grant awards supporting Montgomery County’s youth in transition. “We can reduce the need for lifelong services by focusing on positive outcomes now for these youth in our community,” said Carol Trawick, President of the Trawick Foundation.

Two challenge grants, each in the amount of $132,000, were awarded to Family Services, Inc. (FSI) in partnership with the GUIDE Program, Inc. and The Arc Montgomery County, respectively. “This is an opportunity to launch two programs that can help vulnerable young people with disabilities gain critical work and life skills as they transition to adulthood,” added Carol Trawick.

Family Services, Inc. and GUIDE would expand their strong collaborative services for 60 youth (ages 16-24) who have ongoing emotional, psychiatric and behavioral disabilities by introducing a new Confidence through the Arts program. Transitional specialists would work with youth to develop education and/or employment related plans and goals. Each participant will actively learn to incorporate health, nutrition and wellness into their daily schedule, work towards personal objectives in counsel with a Transition Specialist (TS), and build transferable career skills and measurable work experience in one of two career skills-building tracks: 1) Expressive Arts or 2) Culinary Arts. Programs incorporating the arts have proven to be educational, developmentally rich and cost-effective ways of providing youth with the skills needed for productive participation in today’s economy. The program’s primary objective is to ensure that all participants successfully exit Confidence through the Arts actively pursuing a personal path leading to a sustainable, fulfilling and contributive future within the community.

“This program will allow youth an opportunity to gain confidence and valuable life experiences,” said Kara Pokras, Director of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services at Family Services, Inc. “That is critical for achieving life goals and participating in their community as adults.”

The Transitioning Youth Retail Project offered by The Arc would serve 24 young adults with mild to moderate intellectual and developmental disabilities. This program offers a combination of targeted life and work skills classroom training, family supports and hands-on training in a controlled environment before placement in selected retail internships. The Arc will collaborate with Interfaith Works, Transcen, Montgomery County Public School transition services and retail employers to provide a phased inclusion for young people as they develop life skills necessary for employment.

The third grant for $25,000 was awarded to Future Link, a nonprofit serving at-risk, economically disadvantaged youth struggling to transition from high school to self-sufficiency. The grant will be used to support their Career Immersion Days, an innovative program engaging businesses in exposing youth to a broad range of in-demand job opportunities.

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