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First Star partners with universities and child welfare agencies throughout the country to make a long-term investment in foster youth and change the course of their lives, from abuse and neglect to academic achievement and self-sufficiency. The Academies are the country’s only long-term programs for high school foster youth that include both four immersive residential summers on a university campus, and monthly sessions during each school year. During the residential sessions, the youth are not only supported by highly qualified professionals, but also by peer mentors who are former foster youth attending the host university. Throughout all four years, Academy staff provides holistic, long-term education case management to the youth and their families to sustain the progress youth make during the university-immersion sessions.
The First Star Academies currently serve approximately 350 youth across thirteen campuses: Arizona State University, Cal State San Bernardino, CUNY Staten Island, George Washington University (DC), George Mason University, Illinois State University, Loyola University of Chicago, Rowan University (New Jersey), Rutgers University – Camden, UCLA, University of Connecticut, University of Miami, University of Central Florida, and University of Utah. The First Star Academies have significantly improved the outcomes of participating youth across the country. 99% of First Star Academy youth who have completed four years of programming have graduated high school, and 91% have enrolled in higher education, including a significant proportion to four year universities.
Fostering Success Michigan is a program of Educate Tomorrow that aims to increase access and success in higher education and post-college careers for youth with experience in foster care. Learn how you can contribute to building a holistic network that insulates (i.e., strengthens protective factors and reduces risks) the education to career "pipeline."Make a Donation