There are over 440,000 foster youth in the United States. Once removed from their parents’ care because of abuse or neglect, our society assumes legal responsibility to ensure all foster youth have the support needed to successfully transition to adulthood. Unfortunately, only half graduate high school and less than ten percent ever begin college. Nationally, thousands of youth age out of foster care each year unprepared for independence. Educationally, 30% function below grade level, 35% are in special education, and 46% fail to complete high school (compared to 16% of non-foster youth). Within the first 2 to 4 years after aging out, 51% of these young adults are unemployed, 46% will be incarcerated, 40% are on public assistance, and 31% become homeless.
The First Star Academy Program seeks to reverse these alarming statistics, by offering an innovative and holistic model that emphasizes and supports education while promoting meaningful connections as our youth transition into adulthood. The program is increasing the number of foster youth who are college ready. 98% of our scholars graduate high school, and 88% pursue higher education.