Okla. Dept. of Rehabilitation Services helps foster youth make plans for the future

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ADA, OK -- Making future plans can be hard for any teen, but for those in foster care, those decisions are often more difficult.

That's why the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services partnered up with ECU and the Department of Human Services to host an outreach event.

"it's very important that they know what's available and they need to develop a plan, so that they can be prepared for when they leave the foster care system and when they leave high school," said Transition Program Representative, Larry Hartzell.

The "Take Charge of Your Future" event brought in about 20 foster youths from different counties to help guide them in the right direction.

Former foster youth, Brondelyn Coleman, advises the teens to surround themselves with a positive group of role models.

"Have a great team of people that have your back no matter what," Coleman said. "That include family, that can include social workers, therapists, best friends, anybody, but definitely have that team support."

Coleman's now a senior at Oklahoma State University, and says being in foster care made her a stronger person. She advises teens to show self confidence.

"The whole world is telling you that you might not make it, and I feel like I want to be the person to make sure that they understand that," said Coleman. "I've been where you've been, I've been where you're getting ready to go, and we can do anything, anything we want to."

Both Coleman and Hartzell hope that providing help and resources will make a positive impact on someone's life.

"We just feel like even if there's one of these youth that we can help, and help them put together a plan...and be aware of the resources available, then it's well worth the effort," Hartzell said.

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