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Happy Trails for Kids is about fun and friendship and developing self-confidence for youth in foster care.
Our programs provide kids ages 7 to 18 with enriching outdoor adventures, invaluable mentorships, and opportunities to develop leadership skills and prepare for life after foster. We believe that fostering continuity and belonging is the first step in combating the challenges of foster care and promoting success.
Nearly one hundred times a day, a child in California is placed in foster care because of severe abuse or neglect. In Los Angeles County alone, there are over 30,000 boys and girls in the foster care system.
Although the child welfare system is built to protect youth, too often these children are exposed to additional trauma once placed in foster care. They are separated from siblings, relatives and friends. Frequently moved from home to home, they encounter a stream of new caretakers, schools, therapists and peers.
Not surprisingly, without stability and proper support, foster children face an exceptionally high risk of unemployment, homelessness and incarceration as adults. More than 50% do not graduate from high school and only 3% will earn a college degree.
To combat these statistics, Happy Trails for Kids provides overnight summer camps, year-round alumni events, and older youth programs that help our campers prepare for life after foster care. We impart meaningful stability and a sense of community. We infuse fragile young lives with laughter, joy, happy memories and exciting experiences. We teach our children that in spite of their circumstances, they have a circle of support surrounding them and hope for a better future.