With one’s 18th birthday comes many “rites of passage.” Legal adulthood. Voting. The ability to strike out on one’s own. For kids in the foster care system, though, it means something entirely different. They are aging out of the system that has cared for them as children. In Broward County, at any given time, there are roughly 600 youth between the ages of 18 and 23 aging out of the system, and many of them have not fully developed the life skills necessary to function successfully in the adult world.

Enter The FLITE Center. Created by the Junior League of Greater Fort Lauderdale, the United Way of Broward County, and Community Foundation of Broward, the Fort Lauderdale Independence Training & Education Center was created as a resource to connect young adults with a full range of assistance to help them transition out of the foster care system and into a life of their own.

Last year, The FLITE Center helped 1,000 teens begin their journey toward adulthood, but there is still more work to be done.