Amoré Transitional Group (ATG) is a community-based, IRS-approved, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of young women in foster care through education, skill development and self-sufficiency. ATG was founded in August 2009.
ATG's story is rooted in founder Cousia Townes legacy of harrowing experiences growing up in the foster care system. After her trajectory ended in foster care, she realized she really needed a transition space for young girls leaving the system on their way to adulthood. With a special board and volunteer staff, Ms. Towns Amore Transitional Group Inc. It was originally a mentoring program for girls who had fallen out of the system. To date, ATG has impacted the lives of over 300 young women in the Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia areas.
The main program of the organization is the S.E.E.D.S. program (Support, Education, Empowerment and Development of Socially Responsible Community Leaders). The organization is currently working on a strategic plan that will lead to the acquisition of Casa Amore. This transitional home can accommodate 20 girls who will participate in a 15-month program and provides a safe, stable, supportive and caring home environment during the most difficult times of their lives.
Supporting, Educating, Empowering, and Developing Socially responsible Community Leaders.
Cousia Towns, a successful businesswoman and the founder and CEO of the nonprofit Amoré Transitional Group, Inc., is originally from Atlanta, Georgia. She began her career as a professional stylist over 30 years ago, working her way up through some of Atlanta, Georgia,'s top hair salons.
Cousia Towns, an instructor who has completed the Ogle's School of Cosmetology's program, aims to improve the skills of aspiring stylists by preparing them to take on positions with a focus on business operations. She has experience in many areas of the beauty industry and has owned Colucci's Hair Design, LLC, a salon for more than 20 years in Dallas, Texas.
She has instilled the efforts to pay it forward back to the community because she is deeply invested in her abilities and purpose to carry out a vision. Her father murdered her mother, she was abused as a child, and she was raised in the foster care system as a state ward, but she triumphed over all of these challenges in life. The drive behind the purpose was inspired by a vision that was given to and instilled by God.
The Amoré Transitional Group Inc. based in Dallas, Texas, and is a nonprofit with 501(c)3 accreditation. ATG Inc. is on a mission to offer young women who have been freed from the foster care system educational, housing, and supportive resources in an effort to support their transition to adult leaders who have a positive impact on their community.
Amore Cosmetology Academy, Inc. (ACAI), a non-profit organization registered and recognized by Texas, provides the Amoré Transitional Group, Inc.. To improve outcome of (16-21) years-old foster care at-risk youth in and exiting the system with cosmetology trade school education, training, skills, and entrepreneurial business development and supportive services to assist them in becoming self-sufficient, productive, and contributing members of society. The SEEDS program supports, educates, empowers, and develops civically engaged community leaders. Cousia Towns will continue to realize the vision of assisting others by pursuing her calling in life with dedication to her career and commitment to her purpose.
To improve outcome of (16-21) years-old foster care at-risk youth in and exiting the system with cosmetology trade school education, training, skills, and entrepreneurial business development and supportive services to assist them in becoming self-sufficient, productive, and contributing members of society.
May 2018 - FOSTER CARE MONTH
The drive behind the purpose was inspired by a vision that was given to and instilled by God. Amore Transitional Group was established by Ms. Towns. It started out as a mentoring program for girls leaving the system, but over time it developed into a full-service program for teaching life skills. More than 300 girls in the Dallas/Fort Worth and Metro Atlanta areas have been impacted by Amore today.
BACKGROUND AND UNDERSTANDING
In 2021, roughly 214,971 children in the United States left foster care, according to data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) FY 2021 data 2.49 percent of those kids were girls, which is about half. While some foster children have the good fortune to leave foster care through adoption (28 percent), reunification with parents, relatives, or other caregivers (53 percent), there are still a significant number of children—roughly 17,759—who are emancipated from foster care due to age or who merely run away. Many young people face a variety of obstacles at the time of emancipation that prevent them from successfully making the transition to adulthood, such as learning disabilities and behavioral, emotional, and emotional problems (Foster et al., 2004). It is now essential that community-based organizations working with foster youth take these various concerns into consideration as soon as possible.
No state is exempt from this rule, including Texas. Even though the federal government has implemented some programs, such as the PALS (Preparation for Adult Living) program, there are still a number of obstacles. Training in life skills, career skills, drug and alcohol abuse treatment, mental health treatment, and services for teenage parents who are also pregnant have all been listed as the most frequent barriers (Day, 2013).
However, the literature indicates that there aren't many programs that are specifically designed to meet the needs of emancipated youth in a way that is gender- and culturally-sensitive. Girls who leave foster care are more likely to experience domestic abuse, unplanned pregnancies, sexual exploitation and trafficking, sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS, and poverty. Thousands of foster care girls can be helped each year by addressing these issues in a way that takes specific and careful account of experiences as they relate to womanhood.
ABOUT ATG PROGRAM
For girls aged 16 to 23 who are preparing for or have recently been emancipated from foster care, the SEEDS (Supporting, Educating, Empowering, and Developing socially Responsible Community Leaders) program offers mentorship, leadership, and life skills training. ATG enrolls 50 girls and 50 mentors in the SEEDS program each year.
A total of six months are spent with participants in the program. Participants participate in a series of six interactive sessions over the course of this time that are aimed at increasing self-efficacy in areas like personal self-management, general social skills, and drug resistance.
Each participant is paired with a qualified mentor as part of the SEEDS program, which is another essential element. Volunteers from the community who want to change the lives of the young women are called mentors. Prior to being paired with their mentee, all mentors are female, go through a background check, and go through a required training. Each month, mentors and mentees must spend at least 2 hours together outside of ATG sessions. ATG also organizes unique occasions for mentors and mentees to take part in throughout the year.
Evidence-Based Models: The evidence-based strategy of positive youth development is used to structure ATG's programs. Positive youth development (PYD) is the intentional social approach that actively involves youth in their communities, schools, organizations, peer groups, and families in a way that is positive and constructive and that recognizes, uses, and enhances youths' strengths. PYD encourages positive outcomes for young people by giving them opportunities, encouraging positive relationships, and providing the support they need to develop their leadership strengths (Bowers, et.al, 2010). To give participants the most exposure to educational content and positive role models, the program makes use of the fundamental PYD 5 constructs — competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring — in both the leadership and mentoring components.
The main intervention tool for the SEEDS program is the evidence-based curriculum Botvin Life Skills Training. The Life Skills Training (LST) program is an efficient primary prevention program for teenagers that addresses the risk and protective factors linked to drug use initiation and teaches skills related to social resistance and enhancing social and personal competence (Botvin, et al., 2004). The curriculum has now been modified for a variety of populations, including high school, middle school, and young people in transition. Personal management skills, social skills, and other skills related to drug and alcohol prevention are used as the main constructs in the curriculum.