MAHONING COUNTY, OHIO (WKBN) – A few weeks ago, Mahoning County Children Services celebrated five new high school graduates.

The kids were from different schools throughout the county, but all were part of the foster care system.

Jennifer Kollar with MCCS says graduating high school is a major milestone for all kids, but the reality is that kids in the foster care system are less likely to graduate.

Kollar says the agency hosts a party for the new grads to make them feel special.

“For a lot of these kids, this is the first time, number one, they’ve ever been recognized for anything. It’s the first time maybe somebody said, ‘We’re proud of you. Great job’. This may be the first time that they ever had a party in their honor,” said Kollar.

All five students have post-graduation plans, and Kollar says each one had a bright future ahead of them.

To help kids aging out of the foster care system, the state has a program called Bridges. It is to help young adults ages 18 to 21 prepare for the next stage in their lives.