Young people are looking to you change their lives for the better

on 14 December 2017

Dear Friend, 

You’ve just turned 18 years old. You have your whole life ahead of you.  And then, your mother and father pat you on your back and say…

“This is where our time together ends. Good luck. 

We’re rooting for you. We won’t see one another again.

Not many of us could endure that. How could you muster the strength to function as a responsible adult at 18?

Even those of us with the best upbringing — with parents who instilled in us life skills designed to last a lifetime — would shudder at the prospect of never having a lifeline back to our parents or caregivers.

But for a young person aging out of foster care, this story is all too familiar.

You see, Philadelphia’s foster care program is designed to do one thing…to keep young people safe. And up until age 18, it does a fine job.

But then, our young people face a mountain of challenges.

Without help during these crucial years following their departure from foster care, the statistics for our young people are bleak:

  • Nearly half are unemployed by the time they are 21.
  • Nearly half experience severe economic hardship.
  • Nearly 25% are homeless, or are “couch-surfing.”
  • Nearly 25% are without a high school diploma. 

At Turning Points for Children, we serve young people who are standing on that cliff, petrified about their future, all the time.

With your support, we won’t fail them at this crucial moment.

Earlier this year we partnered with Youth Villages of Tennessee to launch their program YVLifeSet in Philadelphia. It’s the nation’s only successful evidence-based, rigorously tested program of its kind. We took it on because we owe it to the young people. It is a solvable problem and together we can do it. 

Each year about 1,000 young people age out of foster care in Philadelphia. 60-70% possesses the skills necessary to survive. That leaves 300-400 young people in need.

Through our network of relationships, Turning Points for Children pairs “specialists” trained to guide young people through this crucial time.

Our specialists assist them in completing their education. We accompany them on college tours. We help them find housing, build healthy relationships, manage their finances, and avoid life’s pitfalls.

We are there with them, not for them. We provide them with the tools, resources and know-how to be successful, self-reliant adults.  And it makes all the difference in the world.

I am so proud to be Turning Points for Children’s next Chief Executive Officer.  

I assure you that your gift of $100, $250, $500 or as much as you are able to give will set YVLifeSet, and all of the young people that program will serve, on a path for success.

And you will do so much more than that. Your gift of support will have a profound impact on our city and its promise to its citizens, many of whom turn to us for guidance, care, salvation every day of the year.

Now here’s a promise for you. I believe it’s our duty to report back to you on the impact your investment has our young people’ future. As YVLifeset gains steam, we will send you success stories.  There will be many.

Thank you again for believing in Turning Points for Children.


Dawn Holden Woods

Chief Executive Officer

P.S.  Please. Don’t set this letter aside. Your help as we pioneer YVLifeSet will jump-start a program with so much promise.  Thank you for your generosity.