By the time former foster youth are 19 years old, only 57% have received a high school diploma or GED and less than 5% of former foster youth graduate college. That just will not do!
At Mountain Circle Family Services, Inc. we focus on equipping older foster youth with the skills they will need to be productive adults in the real world. We decided to practice what we preach and take some teens to college, CSU, Chico to be exact.
Because of our dedication to transitioning youth, it is exciting that colleges are starting to have the same goals-reaching out and helping former foster youth navigate the difficult process of college applications, financial aid and academic advising.
One program close to us is PATH Scholars at California State University, Chico. They were nice enough to invite our foster teens for a presentation and a campus tour.
It was an early morning, carpooling from Susanville and Greenville all they way to the big college town of Chico but our awesome foster teens made it and were excited for the day! Upon arrival to the campus the staff asked the high school students their education and career goals. One young woman is considering a career in the medical field while others expressed interest in legal and animal fields.
The presenters were able to give each student individualized attention about their potential fields and which programs would best fit their interests. Marina Fox, Foster Youth Program Coordinator, walked the students through important dates to remember when applying to college. She highlighted that in her PATH Scholars program she would help each student navigate Academic Advising, Admissions, EOP, Financial Aid, Scholarships and Housing!
After the informative session, a Chico State student took up on a tour of the campus highlighting their different departments, beautiful campus and impressive sustainable buildings. In their student WREC center, the stationary exercise bikes supply power to the building! The students were having a blast asking questions, taking selfies at landmarks and most importantly, imaging themselves as students of the university.
Some of the students looking at graduating class’ time capsules.
Then, we all got to go out to lunch a few blocks from campus at Franky’s.
The Italian restaurant was kind enough to donate lunch to our group and the pizza was amazing! Everyone had a great time and the teens got some hands on experience on what college can look like for them. We also want to take them to Butte Community College and Feather River College to give them a junior college experience-and the best part about the trip!? No test at the end!