ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — Every year, more than 20,000 teens age out of foster care and are left to fend for themselves. Many end up in the Juvenile Justice System. Now a new program will get some of these young adults sailing their way to success.
The sailboat is called 'No Ordinary Liz' and the teens will live on it, learn on it and hopefully gain skills that they can take with them the rest of their lives.
It was all inspired by Liz Sutherland, who herself aged out of foster care, but managed to become a successful speaker and author all on her own.
"This trip is going to truly change their lives. It's going to provide amazing experiences and they're going to get to meet some incredible people all while being part of an incredible family," Sutherland said.
A family, something many of these kids have never truly had.
"All they're doing is trying to survive. You know and they're not having that time to think about 'what's next for me?' And this trip is just going to bridge that gap for them," she said.
Daveon Dunn is one of the teens chosen for this adventure. He'll spend three months sailing around the Caribbean learning new things and helping others. He is excited about what's to come.
"It's a new learning experience and can open new opportunities and just grow mentally," Dunn said.
Sean Ives is the co-founder of the I Can Foundation, which is sponsoring this trip. He knows what this experience can teach someone.
"The lessons I learned while I was sailing and being on a boat at sea are lessons that I have taken with me through my entire life. They've created self-value, self-worth, self-confidence," Ives said.