In the U.S. there are currently 400,000 children in foster care and each year, approximately 20,000 of these youth “age out” of the system. In California, foster youth have the option of extending care through age 21 and the CASA Mentor Program formed in 2013 to support this population (18-21). The statistics are disheartening: 43% of transition aged foster youth do not graduate from high school or earn a GED, more than half are unemployed, and 25% become homeless within two years of leaving foster care. CASA Mentors help their mentees with goals vital for their successful independence in the realms of housing, education, and employment. Right now in our community there are approximately 50 youth who could benefit from having a CASA Mentor. CASA offers five trainings a year; the next training will begin May 18th. If you are interested in becoming a CASA Mentor for a youth aged 18-21, call 805-541-6542 or visit slocasa.org.