H-SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY

Oct 28, 2013 9:17 PM by Victoria Johnson

One man is walking through the Central Coast to raise awareness for aging out teens

Moving out of the foster care system can be a difficult transition. Many young people lack the financial and emotional support to succeed when they turn 18 and leave the system. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 240,000 teens exited foster care just last year alone.

One man is walking through the central coast to raise awareness of aging out.

"Aging out is when foster kids become 18, there is seemingly no support for them," said Billy Boylan, Founder of Aging Out USA.

Boylan's parents both died from cancer. He then went into the foster care system and at times, was homeless. When he aged out of the system, he says finding a support system is essential and it can be a tough transition for many.

"Most end up in the streets, homeless and in prison, females become pregnant," said Boylan.

He is taking to the streets, walking 8,000 miles across the U.S. with his dog, Bailey, as his companion and protector. He stops and talks to people along the way to raise awareness, hoping to help teens become productive members of society. He also reaches out through Facebook.

"Children are our responsibility as adults. If they don't have parents, then someone in our society needs to step forward and say hey, I'll support you," said Boylan.

With each step, he hopes to make a difference.

"I believe through love, we will reach millions and we will change the world," he said.

Boylan is in the process of creating a non-profit in hopes to one day be able to provide scholarships, counseling and transitional housing for aged out teens.

He expects to take a year and a half to complete his journey around the country.

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