MODESTO (CBS13) — A program in Modesto is helping provide young people who have aged out of foster care with the tools to get them on the right track.
It’s part of a statewide partnership between the non-profit, Aspiranet, and Ashley Homestore.
Terence Flagg finally moved into his own place after years of living in foster care. At the age of 20, he says it’s not only exciting but also scary.
“The first night at my house I shed a little bit of tears because I was so scared. I don’t like being alone so, it kind of freaked me out at first, but after that first day, I told myself ‘okay, you know what, I should be happy, I should not be crying, I should not be sad about this,’ this my time,” said Flagg.
The transitional-age youth program at Aspiranet helps young people who age out of foster care live an independent life. The program provides skills ranging from learning how to cook and clean, how to manage a budget, to even finding work. All the basics needed to jump into adulthood.
“I don’t wish to be someone to who relies always on others. I know relying on others is important but there are times, it feels so much better to do things on your own without asking a question constantly, like how do you do this and that,” said 18-year-old Bryan Villalon.
Flagg and Villalon were recently selected along with three others to receive a big surprise from Ashley Homestore. The business donated sofas, loveseats, beds, and other items so they can create a warm, loving home for themselves.
“We say that we’re doing it for the youth, but sometimes we think we’re doing it ourselves too because it really does make us feels good that we’re helping these young adults on their new chapter in their life and giving them the right start,” said Scott Peloquin, the regional manager of Ashley Homestore
The store began assisting youth in 2015, first in San Bernardino, then in Los Angeles and Fresno. Two years ago, managers decided to expand the help to the Modesto area.
“A lot of our foster youth you know need the help to get couches, tables and stuff like that and for them to receive furniture from Ashley’s is a great help for them to set up and have their apartments feel like a home instead of just having nothing to start with,” said Brenda Luquin Diaz, Aspiranet.
Since the partnership started, Ashley Homestore has helped twenty young people around the state start their adult lives.