For youth “aging out” of the foster care system at age 18, thrust out on their own, homelessness or crime can be a consequence of efforts to support themselves. Now, a service in Milwaukee gives young adults the guidance, financial assistance, and occasional “kick in the butt” needed to move their lives forward in a positive direction.

James Pekrul, Executive Director and Founder of the Foster Youth Independence Center in Milwaukee knows what it's like to be dumped on the street unprepared at 18. A product himself of a series of Milwaukee foster homes, he says, "I never thought anything positive would come from my experiences in foster care, but I guess we are all capable of finding some good in something that is broken."

James says too often kids are not parented in foster care, but warehoused, until they are 18 and asked to leave. The program pays the living expenses for the youth, while teaching them important life skills.