#Adulting 101 in Abilene

Preparation for Adult Living Conference Hosted by BCFS Health and Human Services-Abilene

Photo: Abilene Youth Learning to Cook

Maintaining a car, filing taxes, washing clothes, and seeking employment are normal parts of adult life. To be successful, each young adult needs to learn these skills, and many more.

Because no teenager should transition into adulthood alone – especially those who have experienced abuse, neglect or family tragedies – the Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) program comes alongside youth aging out of foster care. Young adults in the PAL program, operated by BCFS-Abilene, learn side-by-side, gaining valuable life skills and building relationships in their community.

BCFS-Abilene hosted the first annual PAL conference on Saturday, July 9. Eleven youth gathered at the Beltway Park Church-South for a high-energy day of hands-on learning.

“Our first PAL conference was a success,” said Kristen Uetrecht, Program Lead at BCFS-Abilene. “With our ‘what-not-to-wear’ fashion show, the youth learned important job skills and appropriate office attire, plus how to care for that clothing. They even practiced washing, drying and ironing laundry.”

Plumbing and electrical tutorials were also on the agenda – like how to turn off the water on a flooding toilet, and how to flip a breaker. Youth practiced basic car maintenance and tax preparation, and tasted the fruits of their labor in a cooking class.

Photo: Youth Accepting a TV

Members of the Abilene community joined in the fun at the PAL conference. A local police officer took time to engage in conversation with the youth, answering their questions and discussing safety.

BCFS Health and Human Services operates the PAL program in Corpus Christi, Kerrville, McAllen, San Antonio and Tyler.

BCFS Health and Human Services-Abilene provides case management, counseling, and assistance with education, employment and housing to youth from the foster care system and others facing challenges. BCFS-Abilene also provides parenting education programs to show local families how to foster loving, stable homes. BCFS’ Our House in Abilene provides temporary housing to young men struggling with homelessness.

To learn more or make an online donation, visit DiscoverBCFS.net/youthcenters/abilene.