Transitional age youth programs need easier access

Skyline has many programs that aid students, but the road to access them is a long and windy one.

Say you’ve just had your 18th birthday and just graduated high school, you’re finally an adult. Soon after the honeymoon phase though, you realize you need to sign your own paperwork, set your own appointments and essentially make your own choices. There are resources available to help young adults through this time, but they’re hard to find and it isn’t a guarantee you’ll be in a program. But applicants shouldn’t be turned away.

Transitional age youth or TAY is a term used to describe young adults between the ages of 16 to 24. It’s interesting that there is a term for an age group that is going through a big transition, yet we don’t offer them help, or don’t make it easy to receive help. These programs for TAY are great and abundant, but aren’t easy to find or come by.

Community colleges are a great place to start spreading news about programs surrounding TAY needs and wants because according to key facts from the California Community Colleges website, 55% of community colleges are made up of the TAY age range. So over half of the students in a community college are made up of young people who are still trying to figure out things such as finance, housing, mental and physical health and more.

There are a ton of programs on the Skyline campus, and they’re all great, but some students can’t get the help of these programs due to logistics or technicalities, like needing to be full-time students or even falling under a certain demographic like finance or age. Some can’t even find the right program for them because most of the programs are not advertised very well.

Now some would say that that’s a part of adulthood, figuring out everything yourself. But this leads to people failing more often. We ask young adults to do so much already, like going to college, going to work, eventually moving out and small things like doing laundry. All this can and will feel overwhelming. Any and all support in how to deal with everything adulthood entails is welcomed due to young adults not being trained beforehand.

And like the last point, we weren’t trained to be adults. We were taught to follow rules in high school and before. What happens when we’re given our freedom to choose for ourselves and do things ourselves? It’s going to be rough at the start, and that’s why promoting and using programs like these TAY friendly-programs are a great idea.

One solution is for all the programs in Skyline to be connected more. If one student can’t be in one program, faculty can quickly refer them to another program rather than just denying and leaving them to fend for themselves when they need help. Increasing the amount of communication between Skyline programs can do wonders for the students that these programs want to help.

The lack of well-known resources are a massive problem for young adults and on top of that we have so many responsibilities that we need all the help we can get. Also for anyone who’s seeking help, the help shouldn’t be a 10-part process that either leads to a plain yes or no, they should be given different options. Support should be readily available and easy to access.