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Job fair provides opportunity for at-risk young adults

Job fair provides opportunity for at-risk young adults

SAN ANTONIO – Young adults who are homeless or at risk of falling through the cracks are now getting help through a first-of-its-kind job fair.

“I’m originally from Memphis, Tennessee,” says 20-year-old Ellis Adams as he flips through a textbook.

In the book of his life, he never imagined he’d move to San Antonio and end up alone.

"My sister told me I either had to go back home or find somewhere else to go. So I just left, and became homeless,” Adams says. "It basically feels like you're lost in a big world."

He’s turning the page through Turning Point, a transitional living program at Roy Maas Youth Alternatives.

"I think if there weren't a program like this we would have lost so many kids,” Adams says. “In this program, we probably would have lost to either drugs, gun violence."

He’s learning to support himself and going to school – planning for the future, hoping his past won’t hold him back.

"My biggest fear is never making it. Never being successful in life,” Adams says.

He’s afraid he’ll fail – words a youth advocate has heard too many times before.

"It makes me sad. Because we know that he and many other of our youths can be successful,” says Asya Lee with BCFS Health & Human Services.

The nonprofit is hosting a job fair Wednesday for kids who have aged out of foster care or become homeless.

"We can be that ear for them and help get through college and gain employment and begin their careers,” Lee says.

The job fair is just the start. Step Two is encouraging businesses across San Antonio to give some resumes a second look.

"Our youth and young adults don't need anything special,” Lee says. “They just need to be given a chance, like we all do."

A chance to write their own story. Adams is now looking forward to his next chapter.

"I actually want to go into the military to be a medic and a fireman,” he says. "Every day is a challenge to better yourself."

By EMILY BAUCUM

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