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Aged-Out in South Central

Jason Ward | United States

Isaiah, 19, displays the names of his estranged siblings were born into the system and got lost in the shuffle. Along with his older sister Kenesha, Isaiah was placed in roughly ten foster homes and experienced abuse. His undealt with behavioral issues kept him from graduating high school and he now has a tough time finding steady employment.

The abuse and neglect taking place in America’s foster system is well documented, but the aftermath is equally tragic. After being emancipating from the system (aka “aging-out”), foster youth find themselves facing the world alone, many unprepared to make the transition to independant living.  Within one year the majority experience homelessness, addiction, incarceration, pregnancy, and/or  PTSD. Los Angeles has more than most, particularly South LA (formally South Central). Making the transition to adulthood is hard enough as it is, but without a family or support system it can be next to impossible.

The purpose of this project is to put a face on an underserved demographic through a collection of here-and-now photos that capture these struggling youth in the midst of these pivotal years (18-25).

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