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guardians of love: adopt a college student

COLLEGE BOUND FOSTER YOUTH

Fostering success in education for

what comes next

presents many challenges

The road to higher education

Foster youth who are aging out of the system face unique challenges when considering what comes next. For many, the goal is higher education, but the opportunity is often tough to attain. Youth who have spent time in the foster care system are among the most marginalized student populations. As a result of personal, social and systemic issues, many of these youth struggle to reach successful outcomes in a variety of areas, including college enrollment and degree attainment.  

 
 
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statistical data

College-bound foster youth may feel especially alone with no family or community connections, and a history of moving often and attending multiple schools may have left them poorly prepared for college-level work. Compared to their non-foster care peers, youth in foster care are less likely to enroll in college if they complete high school, and less likely to graduate from college if they enroll.  

  • Of the 415,000 foster youth annually in the system, only 46% will earn a high school diploma or GED

  • Despite their dreams, only 20% of foster youth who graduate from high school will go on to enroll in college

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  • By comparison, 68% of American youth who graduate from high school will go on to enroll in college

  • Only 6% of foster youth who enroll in college will complete their schooling and earn their bachelor’s degree

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  • 34% of American youth who enroll in college will complete their schooling and earn their bachelor's degree

  • Of the 4 million American high school seniors, 85% will earn a high school diploma or GED

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stepping out into the world alone

fighting against the odds

The future of foster children

Foster care youth are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to exploring their postsecondary options and navigating the college application process. The reality for many youth in foster care is that they cannot turn to their parents for information about college, assistance with college applications, help paying for college, or emotional support to cope with the academic demands and social stresses related to college life. Nor can they necessarily count on assistance with college exploration or applying to college from their caseworkers, foster parents or other caregivers.

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answering the call of emancipated youth

these young adults succeed

How you can help

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 Without the traditional family support most of their peers have, applying to schools, affording tuition, finding college housing, and getting academic help can be incredibly difficult. Below are a few ways you can make a difference in an emancipated college student's life:

Mentorship: 

  • Make a commitment to a student 

  • Communicate via phone, text, skype, email or social media 

  • Dedicate a specified amount of time per month/year to the student 

 

Care Package Program: 

Cards and thoughtful gifts from home are important to college students but sadly, few foster youth receive them. That’s why Guardians of love developed the Care Package Program.  Each school year, our students receive three care packages to help them feel just like their college peers.  Opening a box stuffed with goodies, having something to share with their friends or roommates, and realizing someone is thinking of them, are just some of the ways our students feel supported by the Care Package Program. Below are just a few of the items you can donate to help a student feel extra special this school year: 

  • School supplies 

  • Snacks 

  • Motivational items or keepsakes 

  • Health and personal care items 

  • Small toys or electronics 

  • Gift cards to national chains