RANCHO SANTE FE—On July 26, 45 emancipated and eager foster youth descended on Target’s Midway Drive store, along with Just in Time for Foster Youth volunteers, to purchase the basic dormitory and school supplies they will need for college this fall.
Legally, foster children are on their own once they turn 18. Most leave the foster care system with nothing more than a plastic bag filled with their clothes. To provide more of the support any young person needs to make the transition to independence, Just in Time for Foster Youth started the College Bound Program to assist youth who graduated from high school against all odds and have been admitted to college.
According to recent statistics, fewer than half of foster youth graduate from high school, and only 10 percent attend college. A mere 3 percent go on to graduate.
“These youth are our heroes, and we’re honored to assist them any way we can,” said Nancy White, volunteer from the RSF Women’s Fund. The Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund donated $40,000 to College Bound, which provided each youth with a laptop, a printer, and a Target Gift Card to purchase dorm furnishings and school supplies.
Managed Solution, Inc. provided laptops at a discount, loaded with full software, and will give tech support while the youth are in college. “Keep in Touch” volunteers from Just in Time have been assigned to stay in contact with youth throughout the school year to offer encouragement and additional assistance.
“These teenagers need major support to get on their feet and build a bright future,” said Kathryn Vaughn, president of Just in Time. “The dedicated volunteers of Just in Time for Foster Youth want to improve the odds of success by giving these young people the tools and guidance they need to compete.”
Colleges these former foster youth will be entering include UCLA, UCSD, UC-Berkley, Pratt Institute, Loyola University Chicago, UC-San Luis Obispo, San Diego State, San Francisco State, Humboldt, Point Loma Nazarene, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State San Marcos, Cuyamaca Community College, Grossmont Community College, Mira Costa Community College, Southwestern Community College, San Diego City College, and Palomar Community College.
Just in Time for Foster Youth supports the former foster children of San Diego County and depends on donations from the community. Visit http://www.jitfosteryouth.org/ for more information.
Filed Under: News