[Harrisburg, PA – November 1, 2021] Eight organizations have been named winners in the 2021 Aging Out Institute Awards competition for their effective strategies helping youth successfully transition to adulthood when they age out of foster care.

The Aging Out Institute (AOI) Awards Program celebrates the positive impact and influence of organizations that work with youth who age out of foster care. The awards program supports AOI’s mission to identify and share award winners’ best practices with foster care professionals throughout the world.

“Winning an AOI Award is a significant accomplishment. The applications are judged by peers who work in the field of child welfare who assess each program based on strict judging criteria,” said Lynn Tonini, Founder and Executive Director of Aging Out Institute. “The programs that won awards this year are outstanding. We are particularly pleased that we are able to provide monetary prizes for the first time this year for the winning organizations to put toward their work with youth aging out of care.”

This year’s panel of judges included experts and practitioners in the field of foster care throughout the country. The six judges of this year’s applicants came from Illinois, California, Pennsylvania, and Texas. After careful consideration, these judges selected the following organizations as the winners of the 2021 National Awards Program (by category and prize amount):

Small Organization or Program (1-10 staff):
The Open Table (Phoenix, AZ) – $40,000
IMPOWER (Longwood, FL) – $40,000
Ball State University Guardian Scholars (Muncie, IN) – $30,000
The Monkey & The Elephant (Philadelphia, PA) – $30,000

Mid-Size Organization or Program (11-50 staff):
Just in Time for Foster Youth (JIT) (San Diego, CA) – $50,000
Silver Lining Mentoring (Boston, MA) – $50,000

Large Organization or Program (51+ staff):
Walden Family Services (San Diego, CA) – $60,000

Youth Impact:
Just in Time for Foster Youth (JIT) (San Diego, CA) – $100,000

Aging Out Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting resources and strategies that help individuals and organizations support youth aging out of foster care. Additional information about Aging Out Institute can be found on the AOI website at www.agingoutinstitute.org. An overview of all the award winners can be found at https://www.agingoutinstitute.org/2021-awards-program-winners/.

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