Update: Area Foster Kids Get Tablets Thanks to Donor - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Update: Area Foster Kids Get Tablets Thanks to Donor

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In the past decade, Nebraska has put a higher percentage of kids in the foster care system than most states.

One recommendation the State Foster Care Review Office made last year was to reduce the time Nebraska children spend in foster care - a good goal considering the statistics surrounding kids who stay in the system.

A brand new, donated Microsoft tablet nearly brought Chelsea to tears.

"I almost cried. It just makes me happy that people are so generous like that. I didn't think, maybe were thought of that highly," said the Grand Island Northwest senior.

Experts say making sure kids like Chelsea, who has been in the foster system, feel support is crucial to their success.

"A lot of them will change schools. A lot of them will not have families to go home to and so, at 17, to understand there are people that really do care about you is so important," said Amy Bennett, Heartland CASA executive director.

Statistics show a bleak future for these kids after they leave the system.

"Seventy percent of youth who transition out of foster care will end up either in the system with their own children or will end up in prison," said Bennett.

Project Everlast attempts to change that by teaching independent living and creating a network of peers.

"I'm really nervous so I'm glad that I have this support system with me," said Chelsea.

She is already taking college classes, trying to break another statistic. Only 6% of foster kids will have a degree by the time they're 25 years old.

Donors Michael Morledge and the United Way hope these tablets will help kids in the Grand Island council of Project Everlast excel in school.

"I'm really glad I'm able to help you kids," said Morledge.

The G.I. council has served 26 students this year, with 13 currently active.

Organizers hope donations like the tablets given this week show students the benefits of sticking with the program.


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