GAP Program in Granbury Mentors Teens Into Adulthood

May 30, 2022

Every year in Texas, more than 1,000 teenagers age out of the foster care system on their 18th birthdays. “Teens turning 18 and aging out of the system often find themselves with nowhere to go and no support system,” said Stephen Thomas, Texas Divisional Service Extension Director.

The GAP Foster Program, a mentoring program developed by the Granbury Unit of The Salvation Army, has been working successfully for several years to bridge the gap. The program offers various types of support to help the teens successfully transition into adulthood.

“The program provides mentors with access to scholarship funds to Hood County foster teens.”

The funds can be used to assist with the teens’ extracurricular activities, permanent housing, transportation, food, clothing, personal hygiene, and medical and dental assistance.

“I have mentored a brother and sister for approximately three years,” said David Timmons. “The brother is 20 and aspires to attend college. He got a job at a bank after graduation from high school and performs his duties with high praise from his supervisors. His sister will be a senior in high school and has performed with the theatre class in several plays.”

‘The goal is to ensure a world of unlimited opportunity for all children’ 

For the last two summers, The Salvation Army provided a scholarship for her to attend Granbury Theatre Camp. “Just last Saturday I attended a play where she had a significant role. She loves performing! This summer she will work toward receiving her driver’s license and plans to attend college,” Timmons said.

“I continue to work diligently with these teens and hope to see them meet their full potential one day!”

Each foster teen is paired with two volunteer mentors, who commit to one year of dedicated service. They help the teen navigate including basic life skills like finding a job, opening a bank account, and much more.

“The goal is to ensure a world of unlimited opportunity for all children,” Thomas said. “The overall outcome would be to help foster children become productive adults and be huge benefits to society.”

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