GSK announces $1M grant to help Triangle kids transition out of foster care

GlaxoSmithKline announced a $1 million grant Thursday to Triangle nonprofits that will support young people who are “aging out” of foster care and entering the workforce.

The 2-year initiative will connect 500 kids leaving the foster care system in Wake, Durham and Orange counties with mentors and with jobs in the food industry. Foster care ends at age 18 and those who leave the system are at greater risk if unemployment, homelessness and other challenges.

The grant was announced Thursday afternoon at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, with Gov. Pat McCrory, GSK President of US Pharmaceuticals Jack Bailey, and other officials participating.

GSK is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies and one of the Triangle’s largest employers, with more than 3,500 workers at its North American headquarters in Research Triangle Park and its drug manufacturing facility in Zebulon.

GSK announced the grant in partnership with the Triangle Community Foundation. The money is designed for Fostering Wellness, a coalition of seven area nonprofits. The local groups are: Community Partnerships, The Hope Center at Pullen, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, LIFE Skills Foundation, Dress for Success, SaySo (Strong Able Youth Speaking Out), and United Way of the Greater Triangle.

GSK’s grant will build on efforts begun in 2014 by a 16 nonprofit and government agencies, that focused on housing, education and employment issues for young people leaving the foster care system.

John Murawski: 919-829-8932, @johnmurawski