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StopGap, Inc. provides a Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) available to all kids in the foster care system in Douglas County. Throughout the eight-week program the curriculum covers practical life-skills and addresses challenges unique to children in the foster care system. Classes are led by our executive director Justine Burton as well as a variety of local guest speakers and community volunteers. The course format includes a combination of lectures, interactive workshops, modeling, role-playing activities, and opportunities to practice skills and receive feedback in these five key areas:

Employment Education

Application assistance

Skills assessments

Connections with potential employers

Goal setting

Resume assistance

Interview training

Career planning

Housing Education

Securing housing

Budgeting skills

Setting up utilities

Roommate agreements

Completing application

Rental requirements

Maintaining a healthy home

Services and assistance available

Financial Skills

Banking & basic financial skills

Budget planning and practice

Financial aid, scholarship, and grant opportunities

State funding access assistance

Education on planning for the future

Establishing and maintaining credit

Health & Nutrition Skills

Meal preparation & cooking

Grocery shopping & budgeting

Meal planning

Assistance with food assistance programs

Health & Life Skills Education

Sexual Education

Human trafficking education & awareness

Self defense

Mental health education & resources

Healthy relationships & boundaries

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