The BYILD Program was created in September, 2013 by the Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian UniversalistFellowship. The Fellowship created a program for Bay County youth aging out of foster care, in order to provide ongoing, active assistance in their lives as they transition into adulthood.
The BYILD Program was specifically developed as a mentoring program in a group setting. Groups of volunteers participate together in the activities they host, and youth in foster care attend these activities with their peers.
Foster youth of high school and post high school age are eligible to participate in BYILD. Young adults residing in foster care group homes, extended care, transitional or independent apartments are all invited to participate in our group activities.
The group activities are designed to:
- Practice independent living skills like budgeting, meal preparation and housekeeping, to enhance every foster youth’s ability to become self-sufficient.
- Familiarize youth with a variety of employment and career opportunities.
- Familiarize youth with services available in the community, including recreational facilities, educational programs, health care clinics, and other professional services.
- Practice social skills to enhance the foster youth’s ability to become a successful employee and a good neighbor.
- Become familiar with the outdoor environment and experience ways to maintain physical health and fitness into adulthood.
- Practice civic engagement to enhance awareness and impart a sense of responsibility.
All BYILD program activities strive to provide an interactive, experiential learning environment that will allow constant opportunities for questions and discussion.