In 2009, The Women’s Fund awarded a grant to help start the Transitional Living program at Azleway. The program serves 16-year-old and 17-year-old boys who are preparing to move from residential care to independent living and has served 252 boys since its inception. The program helps young men to prepare emotionally to live on their own, as well as develop practical skills needed to live and work as healthy, happy adults.

Robert is one of the boys who has been a part of the program since he and his younger brother arrived at Azleway. As part of the Transitional Living program, he received computer training, as well as interviewing skills training. Robert then applied for and was hired at a local fast-food restaurant.

Not uncommon with teenagers who are learning to work, Robert felt insecure, had a few problems with his supervisor, and wanted to quit. The Azleway staff talked with the general manager of the restaurant (who had also been a foster child) and asked if Robert could move to another location. The manager agreed to move Robert, and he is now doing well at work and at Azleway.

With the help of the program, Robert is making good choices and is growing in self-confidence. The job also opened him to the ideas of what is real and possible in his life. He has graduated from Azleway Charter School, obtained his driver’s license, and bought a car. He will be attending Tyler Junior College this fall.

Robert has chosen to continue residing at Azleway to be near his younger brother. This is just one of many examples of good choices he has made. Robert can stay until he is 23 as long as he is in school or working, which will help him to save money and be in a supportive environment.