LifeSet participant, Julia

LifeSet participants and staff from New Hampshire recently spoke about the needs of transition-age youth at a meeting of the American Public Human Services Association’s Economic Mobility & Well-Being Conference in Savannah, Georgia.

Amber Goodrich, a LifeSet Scholar, and Carly Branconnier, a program supervisor, participated in a session at the conference. Goodrich, a sophomore in college, also is a youth peer support specialist for Youth M.O.V.E New Hampshire, a part of NFI North.

Amber speaking at the Economic Mobility & Well-Being Conference“Only 16% of youth over 14 years old have access to comprehensive services to help them learn the skills they need to make a successful transition to adulthood,” Goodrich told the session. “That’s so important – and particularly so for young people who turn 18 in the system and must make their way through the transition years without family support.”

After multiple moves in foster care, Goodrich spent the years before turning 18 in a residential placement where young people had little ability to learn life skills. After struggling in college, she received help from her last state worker and then came to LifeSet.

“My LifeSet specialist was someone by my side, helping me be consistent and explore natural supports and resources in my community,” Goodrich said.

“Carly helped me learn to be accountable to myself, to manage things like applying for college, scholarships and job applications.”

Goodrich now works with an organization where she was once placed in a residential program. “I’ve come full circle. I work with youth facing the same challenges I once did. I’m able to help them find their voice, to advocate for themselves.”

Branconnier gave more details on the LifeSet program in New Hampshire, which began in 2020 through a public/private partnership with Youth Villages. The program will help 80 young people this fiscal year.

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