I know that if you don’t have children, you sometimes think that you wouldn’t be able to connect with adolescents or teens. However, the dreams and concerns for today’s youth aren’t so very different than they have ever been. Certain societal and economic issues may be different, but not the fundamental emotions that drive us – the questions like, “Why are some people born lucky and others into terrible situations?”; “What if I’m never popular?”; “Why should I bother with more school?”, etc.,.
The point is that for many youth, what they need is a mature adult who does realize you get through life’s tough times, and that doesn’t not necessarily have to be someone who is a parent. This is especially true of teens in foster home situations who are going to “age out”. In many states, 18 or completion of high school, is legally the point of departure from foster care. But if you think about the background of those who are placed in foster care, they may not be socially or emotionally equipped at 18 to be out on their own, and perhaps another year or two of mentoring will make the difference in them succeeding or falling into poor life choices that reflect the dysfunctional homes that caused them to be placed into the foster system in the first place. There are organizations that address this specific aspect of foster care and if you have ever considered becoming a mentor, it is something to look into.