The Women’s Giving Circle of Wheeling is helping young women, ages 18-21, in Crittenton’s transition to independence program move forward with a grant to underwrite driver education. The Giving Circle’s investment in driver education reflects a commitment held in common with Crittenton—the empowerment of girls and young women.
“A driver’s license gives a young woman much more than just driving privileges,” says Martha Wright, Crittenton director of development. “It increases employment opportunities and expands her choices about where she might live, work, or study. We all rely on using a driver’s license as identification that allows us to travel by air, take care of banking, or even pick up prescriptions.”
In the state of West Virginia, license applicants under the age of 18 must log 50 hours of driving time with a parent or earn a driver education certificate from a county school system. Most kids that are transitioning out of care have not been able to meet those requirements. They have not had a parent or guardian to supervise driving practice. Agencies providing out-of-home care cannot take on the liability or the staffing requirements for driver supervision. In addition, many transitioning youths have been in multiple placements, resulting in a disrupted school history that limited access to school-based driver training.
The Women’s Giving Circle is a community of women philanthropists building a legacy of support to address the needs of women and girls in the Upper Ohio Valley. Crittenton Services, Inc. is a behavioral health agency, with a continuum of services including community-based care and a residential program for girls and young women, specializing in the needs of pregnant and/or parenting adolescents. For more information, visit www.florencecrittenton.net or call 304-242-7060.