Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Graduating into abandonment

All grown up and no place to go
Film showing in Piedmont explores the lives of teens after foster care
Oakland Tribune, Jan. 7, 2008.

AGING OUT follows former foster children (from left to right) Daniella Anderson, David...

The obstacles these youths face are unpredictable and seemingly insurmountable: one young man grapples with the effects of being abandoned by his mother, a young lady has no place to go during her breaks from UC Santa Barbara, and another young woman tries to raise her newborn child while attending college.

Although the film's premise is tragic, its outcome is thought-provoking and inspiring. The three young people are resilient in the face of all their challenges, and are determined to make lives for themselves.

"The outcomes are uncertain — and sometimes different than the audience might predict," said event organizer Maude Pervere. "I think people will be deeply moved."

Pervere hopes the film and the discussion afterward with Sam Cobbs, director of First Place for Youth, an Oakland organization dedicated to helping foster care youth transition to adulthood, will help shed light on a problem affecting many young people from Bay Area communities, as well as inspire Piedmonters to find ways to help.

"We live in a community where most if not all of the children have the support of at least one, and most, two parents from infancy through adulthood," she said. "In Oakland, many children have a far different growing-up experience. Sam Cobbs, the director of First Place for Youth, will speak after the film, so that Piedmonters can be more aware of an important issue in the Bay Area, and think about what they might do to help."

Piedmont Adult School joined the Appreciating Diversity Film Committee, Piedmont's League of Women Voters, and Diversityworks in choosing and screening "Aging Out." The adult school collaborated with the other agencies on this project because of the film's emphasis on parenting and youth development. The adult school has listed the screening and discussion with Cobbs as a course in its winter catalog.

WHAT: "Aging Out," a documentary in Piedmont's Appreciating
Diversity Film Series
WHEN: Jan. 17, 6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. screening
WHERE: Ellen Driscoll Theater, 325 Highland Ave., Piedmont
COST: Free
DETAILS: For more information, visit http://www.diversityfilmseries.