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DCYF Convention Prepares Youth For Life After State Care

More than one hundred twenty teens and young adults currently or formerly in state care gathered at Southern New Hampshire University Thursday DCYF’s annual Independent Living Conference.

The event is a chance for youth to learn skills like how to find a job and go to college, as well as to hear from those who’ve been through the system.

Trevor Perkins is 19 years old, and studying business administration at SNHU. He’s also a former youth in foster care.

“Growing up started at the age of 13 for me,” he says. “Going through the foster care system since then was a hard transition. I had to learn the simple things in life like save money, stuff like that.”

He spoke with a group of teens earlier in the day about the importance of being your own advocate, but also accepting help when it’s offered.

For Perkins, it’s about helping those who are where he once was.

“Because I remember when I was in care, I didn’t really want to learn from the adults, as much as if I was speaking to someone a little older than me but someone I can see as a mentor.”

Some who attended the conference are in foster care or living with relatives; others are living in residential facilities or at the state’s secure detention facility.

This is the 12th year the conference has been held.

Michael serves as NHPR's Program Director. Michael came to NHPR in 2012, working as the station's newscast producer/reporter. In 2015, he took on the role of Morning Edition producer. Michael worked for eight years at The Telegraph of Nashua, covering education and working as the metro editor.

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