- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Young adults aging out of the state’s foster care system can now seek employment, job training and leadership skills through a new program.

Fostering Success, announced Tuesday, places young adults aged 18 to 23 in a 10-week office job at a local branch of the Kentucky Department for Community Based Service, media outlets reported. Participants will work full time for $10 an hour and gain computer and customer service skills.

At the end of the two and a half months, they will meet with career and college counselors to prepare for independent living outside of foster care. The labor cabinet also will work to connect participants to new jobs.

Fostering Success is the first of many reforms that Gov. Matt Bevin hopes will transform the state’s foster system.

“This is the first step of a long journey to become a beacon of light,” he said.

To take part in the program, participants were required to fill out a state application for interim employment and selection process. More than 100 young adults are expected to participate.

The program has helped make 18th birthdays less intimidating for some youth leaving the foster system, said one 18-year-old participant, Jennifer Lanning.

“I wanted to be in a professional setting,” she said. “You can work at a McDonalds, but what if you want to be something.”

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