Even under the best of circumstances, “adulting” is hard. Life Launch is a small group mentor program for young adults from hard places, like foster care. These young people are at risk for a really tough transition to adulthood.
They probably have very few safe relationships with adults. Their education was probably disrupted by instability at home. And their childhood experiences may have left them distrustful of God.
But for every great moment like that, there’s a reminder that, in Oklahoma, the foster care system is in trouble. Over 50% of Tulsa kids in foster care are NOT able to be placed locally because there aren’t enough foster homes. That means these young people are not only taken from their houses, but also their hometown, their school, and any sense of home. Can you imagine being 18 and alone?!
Life Launch small groups of mentors eat dinner, play games, watch sports, go shopping, and spend time with these young adults just as they begin to face adulthood. Over the years, we’ve seen these relationships become safe places to learn life skills and practice faith (for everyone involved).
In 2018, Life Launch served 46 youth in small groups. 74% of those youth “graduated” after spending one year in committed relationship with their Life Launch small group. (That’s at least 25% higher than the national average for mentoring programs.)
(What about the 26% who didn’t graduate? Six young adults moved away and one was adopted. That makes our successful closure rate even higher – 88-89%.)