Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Inspire Life Skills Training for former foster children

Nonprofit group reaches out to former foster-care children
Saucedo, Juan. Press-Enterprise, Oct. 3, 2007

Riverside, CA - Children who have moved through the foster-care system might find it hard to draw inspiration from their surroundings.

But Kristi Camplin, of Corona, has found a way to motivate former foster-care youths through Inspire Life Skills Training, a nonprofit group in Corona.

The group will hold its second annual fundraising Make a Difference dinner and auction at 5 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Lemonia Grove historical home at 2750 Rimpau Ave., Corona.

"The more money we raise the more youths we can help," Camplin said in a phone interview.

Fewer than 10 percent of foster kids go to college and half end up homeless after turning 18 years old, she said.

Camplin founded Inspire in 2005. She said the group promotes education as the key to change for former foster-care clients.

Inspire provides the opportunity to attend vocational school or college full-time while living in a safe and affordable home. The group serves clients ages 18 to 21 from Riverside and Corona, Camplin said.

The students are given counseling and mentoring to help them make the transition to self-sufficiency. Inspire also covers the medical bills of some of the young people who don't have insurance, Camplin said.

The organization receives no government funding and relies on support from businesses, individuals, churches and service clubs.

"The community is very supportive ... they're really behind us," Camplin said.

About 225 people attended last year's event.

A year ago the group had five women in the program. This year the group is helping 11 women and two men, Camplin said.

"A lot of the kids are new, so they don't know what to expect," she said. "I told them that they need to see the people who support them."

Camplin said the dinner and auction are sponsored by Soroptimist International in Corona, a group of local business women who come together for charitable reasons.

Tickets are $50. Information: 951-316-0011 or www.inspirelifeskills.org

Reach Juan Saucedo at 951-893-2101 or jaucedo@PE.com

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