American foster youth face abysmal education outcomes.  They transfer schools up to 8 times while in foster care, leading to only half graduating high school, and less than three percent earning a Bachelor’s degree. Instead, more than half of foster youth end up homeless, incarcerated, or on welfare after aging out of the foster care system.

First Star partners with universities 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. Each Foster Youth Academy is a four-year program for high school foster youth that shows them they belong on a college campus, and helps them get there.

Youth live on an elite college campus each summer throughout high school, and return 1-2 days each month during the school year. The university becomes a second home that inspires and enables them.  Each Academy keeps youth on track for academic success, equips them with life skills needed for adulthood, trains them to advocate for themselves and others, and provides a long-lasting family.

Fore more information on existing academies or on how to set up a new academy, contact Paige Chan, Esq., National Director of First Star Academies at



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University of Rhode Island


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George Washington University


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University of Connecticut


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University of Central Florida


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Rowan University


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Loyola University


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