Supporting Foster Youth Through The Transition To Adulthood
Each year, in L.A. County alone, 1,400 youth age out of the foster care system, reaching adulthood without being adopted or reunified with their birth parents. The statistics for these kids are grim. Only 55% will have a high school diploma, and only 3% will graduate college with a Bachelors Degree. Thirty-six percent will experience homelessness within the first 18 months. Twenty percent will be incarcerated within 2 years.
Most foster youth want a better life, but they do not know how to achieve it. Many desire a college education or vocational training, but they have no idea how to pursue it. They may have been told that they are “not college material” or that college is too expensive for them. Without the support of a dedicated and knowledgeable adult, the complexity of college entrance exams, college applications and financial aid can be overwhelming.
At Fostering Youth Independence (FYI), we believe that education is the key to overcoming a shaky foundation and unlocking doors to a successful future. Our mission is to equip foster youth to complete post-secondary education and become successful, independent adults. A post-secondary education is affordable and available to transition age foster youth through the California Community College system, where they can pursue a college degree or vocational training. The Board of Governors (BOG) Waiver Program allows foster youth and former foster youth to attend any of California’s 113 community colleges at no cost. In addition, there are grants and subsidies available to help pay for books and other expenses. For youth who want to pursue a Bachelor’s degree, many CSU and UC campuses offer full financial aid packages covering tuition and living expenses.
FOSTERING YOUTH INDEPENDENCE IS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING AN ENVIRONMENT THAT IS FREE FROM DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT BASED ON RACE, AGE, CREED, COLOR, RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN OR ANCESTRY, SEX, GENDER, DISABILITY, VETERAN STATUS, GENETIC INFORMATION, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY OR EXPRESSION, OR PREGNANCY.