Some Arkansas kids end up in foster care, turn 18 and find themselves forced out on their own.
Like Edward Phillips is a natural at playing the piano, taking a few classes at Parkview High School is his only lesson.
"Then I forgot how to play cause I only took the class 3 semesters," he says.
Shundreka Barnes talks to her transitional advisor about moving into her own place for the first time, a sign of independence for her.
"I'm staying at Immerse Girls House," she says.
Edward and Shundreka are two young adults among hundreds that have turned 18 and have no other choice, but to say goodbye to foster care.
But here at Immerse Arkansas in Little Rock, they have a place that gives them a lifelong friendship and a chance at a better life, after bouncing from foster home to foster home.
"I went through 10 to 15 homes," Edward says.
Shundreka spent most of her time between foster care and Rivendell Behavorial Health Services.
But two years ago, Eric Gilmore opened the doors to Immerse Arkansas, hoping to be the bridge to close a wide gap in the lives of youths like Edward and Shundreka. Gilmore had previously been a house parent for some teens in Saline County.
"We saw kids turning 18 and having a really hard time making that transition to adulthood," Gilmore explains.
One story in particular forced Eric and his wife to move on and do something for them.
"A young woman we had been working with for probably four or five years, she turned 18 and the day after her 18 birthday, exited care and boarded a Greyhound bus. With one bag of clothes and one night's worth of her bipolar medication," Gilmore recalls.
Gilmore knew he, along with the help of others, could make a difference.
"We wanna partner with DCFS, partner with other organizations, churches and businesses and let's all get around the table and see if we can come up with a solution for this," he says.
And it seems to be working.
"It's helped me establish a place to stay, they've helped me find a job, they've been awfully grateful with just like being there, helping giving advice," Edward says.
"I love them!! it's exciting having my own room and having my own house, not my own house cause I share it with some people, it's exciting I'm learning to be independent," Shundreka says.
The number of youths leaving foster care in Arkansas is about 250 a year, compared to thousands a year in other states. Gilmore feels they can reach many of those and help them with education, career, life skills and networking.
A plan paying off for Edward and Shundreka.
"I hope to go ahead and get my degree, what do you want your degree in? Music Education," says Edward.
Shundreka said she sees herself getting her GED, completing college and becoming an actress.
She said when she wins her first Academy Award she won't forget who helped her.
"It's all because of Eric Gilmore, Tabitha," she says.
Two young adults recognizing deserving people that have not turned their backs on them, in their time of need.
Youths can remain in care up to age 21, if they abide by certain requirements and can receive a monthly stipend to help cover living expenses.
Immerse said it highly recommends teens aging out take advantage of that.