MORGANTON, N.C. — A chance invitation freed Elizabeth Turner from the revolving door of the North Carolina foster care system and homelessness and set her on the path to college and a better life.
Turner was living in a foster home — her 27th placement in six years — when she was asked by her case worker if she wanted to participate in a program that helps young people transitioning from foster care.
“I was all for it,” she recalled.
That was more than a year and a half ago. Since then, the 19-year-old has graduated from high school, got her first job, her driver’s license, insurance and a car, and she’s a freshman at Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton.
Turner credits her achievements to LifeSet, a bridge program offered through Youth Villages to those 15 to 21 years old. Memphis, Tenn.-based Youth Villages has 10 offices in North Carolina: Asheville, Boone, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Louisburg, Pinehurst, Raleigh-Durham and Waynesville. It started LifeSet in 1999 as a way to help young people leaving the foster care system learn to live independently. She is one of 56 young people in the Asheville area and among 200 statewide participating in LifeSet…