LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – It’s an unfortunate fact, more than 200 children age out of the foster care system every year in Arkansas.
They then must learn to live on their own.
It can be difficult for young adults without a support system.
That’s why Immerse Arkansas was created.
“We’re super excited when youth don’t give up,” says Eric Gilmore.
Members of Immerse Arkansas sit around a table planning for the next year. But this group does so much more than this.
“We help with housing, life skills, mentoring,” he explains.
Gilmore is the Executive Director.
He says the main focus of Immerse Arkansas is to help young adults in crisis, especially when they age out of the foster care system.
“One of the big reasons we got started is because these youth had zero support,” continues Gilmore.
Gilmore says the non-profit focuses on giving 14 to 24-year-olds a chance.
“We just saw them really falling flat on their faces and not having the tools and people around them that they needed to even have a chance to get a job, have an apartment, or go to school,” he adds.
Last year we met Jeuron Clark. Despite having a difficult past, he teamed up with Immerse Arkansas and a mentor to have a brighter future.
“If it wasn’t for Immerse, I would probably be in a real bad situation,” he says.
For what Immerse does, it’s the latest organization to receive the Difference Maker Award.
Gilmore says Immerse measures success in different ways, from when these young people get their GEDs to just giving the program a chance.
“Sometimes we’re just super proud when we have a young person that just gets out of bed and tries again when their whole life all they have experienced was failure – people letting them down – hiccups – or abuse – or that kind of thing,” says Gilmore.
Immerse also gives foster and adoptive families resources and support too.
To learn more about the program and how you can help visit their website.
The Difference Makers Award is brought to you by Rainwater, Holt & Sexton.