Studies show that only seven to 13 percent of the nation's foster youth enroll in college, and a mere two percent obtain a bachelor's degree. In an effort to change these statistics, Youth Fostering Change Youth Advocates devoted their 2012-2013 year to improving educational outcomes for older youth in foster care.
Youth Advocates agreed that foster youth in high school needed a tool to help them complete school and to prepare them for college. They created For the Love of Success: An Educational Toolkit for Philadelphia Foster Youth.
The toolkit is intended to be filled out by youth along with a supportive adult. It should be reviewed every semester to make sure the youth is on track.
The first section, "Getting to Know You," will identify a youth's needs, strengths, skills, and interests. It will also help youth create short- and long-term goals to map out a plan for success.
The second section, "Planning It Out," will help foster youth understand exactly what they have to do to get into college. It includes information on finding colleges, what you need to apply for college, and financial aid. It also has insightful advice from foster youth who have been through the process and bountiful resources for youth to plan successful college experiences. This section includes a checklist to ensure youth are on track with all the tasks they need to get into college.
For more information on the guide, watch this video, created by Youth Fostering Change and Philadelphia filmmaker Will Drinker:
Thanks to the Philadelphia Department of Human Services for publishing this guide and for their continued support of our youth engagement programs!