Youth Empowerment & Success (YES) Hawai‘i is new program administered by Family Programs Hawai‘i, in partnership with EPIC ‘Ohana and the Department of Human Services."Empowering young people impacted by foster care."

Documentary follows two young people aging out of care at 21

This PBS station in Washington state aired a three part series that highlights the struggles of young adults as they near age 21 and leave the extended supports offered to them by the foster care system.  Smooth transitions into housing and education are always a challenge, but their stories are full of hope.

Financial Literacy Class in Wahiawa next week

The Hawaii Youth Opportunity Initiative will be offering the financial classes next week while the DOE is on fall break.  Students learn how to manage money and get paid to attend.  Details on the flyer below.  We will meet at the Wahiawa Public Library at 12:30 on October 11, 12 and 13.  Snacks are provided.  Classes are fun and interactive!



Skills for Adulthood


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Transitioning into adulthood can be difficult, especially for those in foster care. Often times these young adults don’t have the same safety nets or social capital (network of support) as their peers.

According to Jensen Arnett, a Clark University research professor of psychology, there are three consistent markers for adulthood, which he discovered by interviewing people across several countries.

Here are the markers or the “Big Three”, which you can read more about in an article by Tech Insider. These skills are key in thinking about adulthood.

  • Taking responsibility for yourself. Be responsible for the consequences of your actions.
  • Making independent decisions. This is all about what you decide to do for yourself. Where will you live, where will you work and what will you do? It’s all up to you.
  • Becoming financially independent. This one can be tough and for foster youth, it is one of the most important things to think about since often times there’s no safety net, such as living at home. Learn how to save your money and spend it the right way.

10 Steps to Prepare for the Workforce

people-office-group-teamAn article in Forbes titled “How Millennials Can Better Prepare For Today’s Workforce: 10 Critical Steps” by contributing writer Kathy Caprino provides notes on millennials and how they can be better prepared to enter today’s workforce.

  1. Mind the gap. Are you ready to join the workforce? Always strive for more, whether it be networking or asking your advisors for help, do whatever you must to be ready.
  2. Define preparedness. What does it mean to be prepared? What will your employers expect from you? Talk to professionals in the field to know what they might be looking for.
  3. Build a diverse set of skills. Have some hard (technical or professional) and soft (interpersonal interactions) skills under your belt to be successful in the workplace.
  4. Show your loyalty. Prove your employers wrong by building relationships with your peers and team.
  5. Adapt to others. Be an effective communicator with others and learn about the importance of things, such as punctuality.
  6. Commit to becoming a life-long learner. There’s always room for growth. It keeps life interesting.
  7. Sign up for internships. Internships are essential in this day and age, and they allow you to network and get a glimpse into what you’ll be going into.
  8. See an advisor. They can help you prepare for your future.
  9. Consider a career in business (optional).
  10. Prepare yourself.

This article focuses its research on the Bentley University’s Preparedness Study, which is comprised of comprehensive surveys conducted on roughly 3,100 individuals on the subject of preparedness for the workforce. Researchers of this study talked to students, teachers, parents, college graduates, leaders in the field and the public. To read more of this article titled “How Millennials Can Better Prepare For Today’s Workforce: 10 Critical Steps“, please click on the article.


Prepare for College

beautiful-business-computer-female-53535College can equal to more money, more opportunity and more freedom. And it’s never too early to start preparing for college. It can be easy to do if you follow these key steps provided by the Federal Student Aid website:

  • Explore your career options. Find out what interests you and research the possibilities.
  • Create a checklist. It can help you plan the necessary steps you’ll take to your first day.
  • Choose a school. Start thinking if you want to go to a 2-year college or 4-year university.
  • Take the required tests. You may be required to take certain tests for college or graduate school.
  • Apply. Got the school figured out? Apply!
  • Learn to budget. It helps to be mindful of your finances and stick to a budget while in school.
  • Ask for help. Get in touch with counselors or professors that could help answer your questions.

Read more about “Preparing for College” on the Federal Student Aid website.

Youth Voice – words of wisdom to students starting college

We asked one of the HI HOPES Youth Leadership Board members to tell us what advice they would give or what they wish someone would have told them when they first started college:

“Be careful who you choose to live with.  My grades dropped during my 4th and 5th year of my undergrad.  By my 6th and final year, I surrounded myself around people that pushed me instead of people that pulled me down.  I stayed around people with a similar passion as mine and I got a 4.0 GPA during my last year to help me graduate.  The last year really helped me to understand my true abilities without negative influences.”

He also added, “In addition, I would have been more hopeful about myself if I knew about the adolescent brain.  My self esteem was really was low during my early college years.  I didn’t think that I was capable of becoming more intelligent.  Knowing about the slow development of my brain would of gave me more hope for my future.  I would have overlooked some of the stupid impulses I had.”

Get Help Paying for College

YES! Hawaii is hosting a college workshop at Leeward Community College in Pearl City on Friday, September 23rd.  Details are on the flyer below.  Call if you want to join us, we have plently of room left.  We will review the sources of funding for foster youth to pay for college.  Participants will also be encouraged to create a personalized plan for their education and career.

There are also a couple opportunities for free workshops at the Kamehameha Learning Center in Waianae.  Ho’Oulu Waiwai is hosting a paying for college workshop on September 8th and a FAFSA party on October 3rd.  Call Saydee at 696-5556 for more info.

Better Start 2016