By Britt Moreno
DENVER (CBS4) – While working on the CBS4 series “Aging Out”, many former foster care youth told Britt Moreno that they felt alone, with little support as they aged out of the child welfare system. One choir is creating a sense of community for foster care youth.
They sing to heal and they sing from the heart. CBS4 was with a group of vocalists as part of SOAR! Youth & Adult Choir when they were practicing in Denver. These singers belted out notes that lift them up. Choir member 18-year-old Diamond tried to describe the feeling he gets when he sings.
“It’s hard to explain. Picture this, a thousand joys. Multiply it times a million. That’s what it’s like,” Diamond told CBS4.
SOAR! offers our most vulnerable kids a sense of belonging. It is a community for kids who are in foster care or who are adopted. Some of its members are coping with trauma or working through mental health issues. Some of the participants have aged out of the foster care system. The adults in the group provide hope and companionship.
“We’re a mentoring group and a care group for young kids and we do it through music,” said Emily Martin, choir director. “The ability for kids to be among adults who treat each other respectfully is new for them.”
CBS4 SPECIAL REPORTS: Aging Out
Diamond who has grown up in foster care said SOAR offers him an outlet.
“When I sing it feels great like I am letting all my feelings out, my anger out. I express myself,” he explained.
Diamond may not ever be adopted, but as he has come to grips with that he said he’ll rely on his new friends at SOAR!.
“I’ve realized this place…this place is my home now. My family,” he said.
The following are helpful resources for people who are aging out of foster care and for the people who care for them.
Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Public Awareness Campaign
Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline
Learn more about foster care and adoption in Colorado.
United Way Bridging the Gap
helping teens live on their own after foster care
Dream Makers Project
making dreams come true for former foster care youth
life skills program provided through human services dept. of each county
CBS4 Wednesday’s Child Section
The Adoption Exchange
promoting adoption for foster care youth
Adoption Exchange’s Birthday Wishes Program
Office of the Lt. Governor
SOAR! Youth & Adult Choir
soaryouthandadultchoir.org 720-218-1433 (Youth)