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Only 3% of the young people who have experienced foster care will successfully obtain a bachelor’s degree.
Together, walking alongside these resilient young people, we’re rewriting the script for what’s possible and helping them chase their dreams.
In 1999, Youth Villages created the LifeSet program as a bridge to adulthood for young people who have experienced foster care. Supporting young people who have been impacted by childhood trauma includes helping them achieve educational goals.
In 2010, Youth Villages began the LifeSet Scholars program to improve educational achievement for young people who have experienced foster care or other childhood trauma. It allows young people who qualify and are accepted to receive extra support as they work toward college degrees or vocational certifications. Participants must maintain a certain grade point average, have a part-time job and help others through volunteer hours every semester.
Research tells us that educational achievement dramatically affects economic wellbeing over a lifetime. Young people who have experienced foster care have special challenges that impact their ability to complete their education: high school, bachelor’s degrees or vocational programs. Only about 50% of former foster youth will graduate from high school; beyond high school, only about 20% will ever enroll in a higher education institution; and approximately 3% will successfully obtain a bachelor’s degree – a glaring difference from the national average of 52%.
LifeSet Scholars Facts:
Launched with 10 participants in 2010, the program now serves more than 150 young people annually. Many are the first in their family to go to college and most have experienced foster care or been participants in children’s mental health, child welfare or juvenile justice programs.
LifeSet Scholars supports students in technical, vocational, two-year, four-year and master’s-level programs across the country. 48% percent of LifeSet Scholars graduate from college or complete their vocational program.
The scholarship program provides monthly cash assistance, technology support, a personal mentor, educational oversight, encouragement toward community involvement and ongoing financial education to ensure they’re prepared for adulthood and ready to chase their dreams.