The First Step Towards Independence

How old were you when you got your driver’s license? 

When teenagers obtain a driver’s license, they transition from relying on their parents to gaining freedom, control, and independence. Assisting youth in our program to earn their driver’s license is a huge priority. 

Without it, youth rely on placement providers, public transportation, or friends to get to work or any event outside of school.  Not having a driver’s license limits a person’s ability to build community and independence. Youth in foster care already have limited control of their lives, constantly moving and having a small say in what occurs in their lives. Having the freedom to go to work and travel on their own is so important! 

Lily is 19 and has been in foster care since she was little. When Caroline first met Lily, she wasn’t sure if she was ready to be independent. Lily relied on her roommate for rides and on the government to cover her rent. 

The thing holding her back was not having a driver’s license. Once Caroline knew this, she began helping Lily achieve this goal and signed her up for driving lessons! 

Unfortunately, Lily was overstimulated and anxious during her first driving test, had a panic attack, and had to stop. But after a few months, Lily worked through her anxiety in therapy and became confident that she would be able to attempt the driver’s test again. She passed and received 100%! 

That day, Lily left the DMV with her driver’s license and freedom. 

Lily loves having the ability to do things independently and feels incredible about herself and her life. 

 “Once I have my car, I will be unstoppable.”


Lily is highly resilient. She is working full time and now has the goal of being fully independent and living on her own. Since she has earned her license, she is no longer dependent on anyone. 

Stella grew up in foster care and, throughout her life, has experienced four moves. When Maggie began coaching Stella, she was very timid and afraid of adults because of her experience with them growing up. 

She graduated early from high school but didn’t have a plan for what came next; however, she did know she wanted her driver’s license. 

With Maggie’s assistance, Stella passed her driver’s test and began looking for her own car. Stella then bought a car, found car insurance, got a new job, and is now saving for college. 

She has put in a ton of work and now has the tools to go to college. Maggie is confident that Stella can and will accomplish anything she puts her mind to. 

Since having a driver’s license, Stella’s self-confidence has improved, and instead of life leading her, she is in control of her life. 

We are so proud of these women and excited for what they will accomplish next. 

If you would like to support other youth working toward getting their license, saving for a car, or applying for jobs, consider donating to our LifeStrengths program. Youth in the program are paired with a LifeCoach who will assist them in accomplishing these goals and anything else they may desire. Your donation will ensure we can continue to expand our program across Missouri so any youth aging out of foster care can successfully transition into adulthood. 

Give here!