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UTSA hosts 15th annual Independence Day conference for foster youth July 2

youth conference

Dr. Harriett Romo with conference staff

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(June 26, 2014) -- The UTSA Bank of America Child and Adolescent Policy Research Institute (CAPRI) and BCFS Health and Human Services are partnering to host the 15th annual Independence Day Youth Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 2 in the Buena Vista Theater (1.326) at the UTSA Downtown Campus.

Independence Day is traditionally synonymous with fireworks, family and parties, however, it takes on a completely different meaning when it comes to children in foster care. This year's theme, "Become A Super Hero," will focus on helping youth realize their potential, regardless of their past, and dare them to fly forward toward a successful future.

An estimated 300 are expected to attend the conference to support youth aging out of foster care with their transition into independence and adulthood. This year's event will include four experiential workshops showcasing positions in multiple career fields, a youth panel of foster care alumni to discuss "Life After Foster Care," and a college and career fair.

Organizers expect the youth to leave encouraged and empowered with practical tools to make decisions about their possible future careers.

In 2011, CAPRI received a three-year $600,000 HUD grant, which was used to create programs to encourage and assist foster youth through the college planning process. The grant also allowed for the creation of the Assistance in College Completion, Employment and Socioeconomic Success (ACCESS) Center and commuter lab. The ACCESS Center, located in Monterey Building Room 2.260 at the UTSA Downtown Campus, serves as a central hub where youth can get assistance with college readiness, time management and helpful resources for everyday problems.

BCFS Health and Human Services is a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations with locations and programs throughout the United States, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa. BCFS also provides residential and emergency services, assisted living services, medical services, transitional living services, residential camping and international humanitarian aid throughout the globe.

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For more information on the Independence Day youth conference, contact Sophia Ortiz at 210-458-2692.

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