on foster care issues:

Are Male Students Getting Left Behind When They Enter the Workforce?

| August 27th, 2013

More than a third of wives earn more than their husbands, up from 23.7 percent in 1987, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which also reports that the unemployment rate is higher for men than it is for women. Why has this happened? Can it be simply explained away by the recession? According to some experts, education may be a big reason for the difference in salary and job opportunities.

jump starting boys“The transition from unskilled to skilled labor demands more education and training, but worryingly, the skilled-labor sector is seeking skills not traditionally valued by men,” said Pam Withers and Cynthia Gill, authors of the new book Jump-Starting Boys: Help YourReluctant Learner Find Success in School and Life. “Men suffered roughly three-quarters of the job losses between 2008 and 2010.”

Withers and Gill argue that education is key to male students entering the workforce successfully, as college and post-secondary career training provide them with the skills that employers need in their employees.

In their book, Withers and Gill provide messages that foster parents, social workers, and independent living coordinators can share with their sons/ clients to help them choose to prepare for the workplace with better education.

  1. Today’s workers need more education. “Not only are they competing against females, but against newcomers whose attitudes (not just aptitudes) will be compared closely to theirs,” said Withers and Gill.
  2. Schools typically haven’t kept pace with training kids for what the workforce needs. Besides steering male students to extracurricular activities that will help them build their resumes, foster parents, social workers and independent living coordinators need to guide them to the best teachers and lobby on their behalf.
  3. The workplace has changed. “Workers need to be prepared not only to change jobs, but to change careers several times in their lifetime, and college graduates are best positioned to do this.”
  4. The type of worker in demand has changed. In their book, the authors recommend that foster parents and coordinators can help their male students be getting them involved in volunteer work or jobs that entail working with people….Restrict his time on electronic gadgets. Anything that involves communicating, working with others, and thinking abstractly is important.” They also recommend helping to instill collaboration and teamwork skills and being able to work well with a diverse group of people.
  5. Men and women bring different approaches to the table. “Knowing this allows our sons to present themselves to employers in the best light, and to vigorously pursue working on any shortcomings.”




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The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got that Way

| August 23rd, 2013

The end of the summer always brings new books about education, a bonus for me as I try to learn more about education to become better at my new job as communications manager at Foster Care to Success. A book about the current state of education came across my desk and was interesting enough that I wanted to share it with you – an audience of students, educators and social services professionals who might enjoy the book yourselves.

smartest kidsThe Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got that Way

by Amanda Ripley (August 2013, Simon & Schuster, $28.00)

Writer Amanda Ripley follows three American students as they spend a year of high school abroad in South Korea, Finland and Poland, all countries that regularly beat the U.S. in test scores for students’ skills in math, science and reading. The author uses the students’ stories as a tool to draw readers into a broader discussion how how education is different around the world and what the U.S. can do to improve its educational system. The book is thoroughly engrossing and hard to put down, and I swear I’m not saying that because I’m a book addict and the author wrote, “If parents simply read for pleasure at home on their own, their children were more likely to enjoy reading, too. That pattern held fast across very different countries and different levels of family income.”

The book looks at factors that might affect how children learn and why test scores might be different, and she doesn’t shy away from discussing possibly sensitive topics like poverty, race and diversity. It is a hopeful book, but also a realistic one. I think that educators and parents would enjoy reading it. Check out the video below about the book.


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Social Networking Sites Increase in Popularity for Recruiting Job Applicants

| August 21st, 2013

When you are in school, websites like Vine, Twitter, and Facebook seem like they are all about fun. It’s never too early to remember to be professional on social media sites and to clean up your accounts. Your future employer could be watching you.

2013 Aim Higher Fellows - 101According to a poll released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in April, the majority of employers (77 percent) recruit job candidates via social networking websites. The survey found that the number of organizations using social networking sites to find and communicate with applicants jumped significantly from 2011 (56 percent) and 2008 (34 percent).

Why are employers drawn to social networking sites during the recruitment process? Most of the surveyed employers (80 percent) cited the ability to recruit passive job applicants who might not otherwise apply. Other top reasons include the ability to target job candidates with specific skill sets (69 percent) and increasing employer branding and recognition (67 percent).

The survey − Social Networking Websites and Recruiting/Selection− also discovered that LinkedIn is the most popular website (94 percent) used by HR professionals for recruiting. Other top social networking sites for recruiting are Facebook (54 percent), Twitter (39 percent) and professional or association social networking sites (29 percent).

“Social media is changing how HR professionals do their jobs, most dramatically in recruiting,” said Alexander Alonso, SHRM’s vice president of research. “SHRM’s research shows that HR professionals are using social media mainly as a recruitment tool with four out of five saying its ability to recruit candidates who might not normally apply as a chief reason for their use.”

What can we learn from this survey? The most important lesson seems to be that it is never too early to act professionally online. If you really want to let loose with friends, lock down your accounts, but realize that others may be able to access your account unknowingly. Before I post anything, I think, “Will this embarrass my kids if they saw it or me in a few years?”

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Take Your Activities to the Next Level: Show Initiative! by Alison Cooper Chisolm and Anna Ivey

| August 14th, 2013

Today, we have a special guest blog from Alison Cooper Chisolm and Anna Ivey, authors of How to Prepare a Standout College Application: Expert Advice that Takes You from LMO* (*Like Many Others) to AdmitHope you enjoy!

Take Your Activities to the Next Level: Show Initiative!

Alison Cooper Chisolm

Alison Cooper Chisolm

What are admissions officers looking for when it comes to activities? They are looking for evidence of the “Core Four” — passion, talent, initiative and impact. That’s why we encourage you to always look for opportunities that would allow you to show admissions officers that you’ve got the Core Four.

For many students, how to show “initiative” is a bit of a stumper. They just don’t have many ideas beyond the obvious — “Start something, like a club or a non-profit.” While there is no doubt that “starting something” does show initiative, there are LOTS of other options beyond that for showing initiative. And frankly, many times these other options are not only better for you, they are really more positive uses of your time. Does the world REALLY need a “Fans of Survivor” club or another “Pennies for My Personal Cause” campaign? Probably not.

So what are your other options? Here are seven ways of showing initiative that should generate several possibilities for you!

1. Assign yourself.

People with initiative are “self-starters.” They don’t wait to be assigned something. They assign themselves. What assignment could you give yourself that relates to one of your activities? For example, if you are a creative writer, you could assign yourself the task of participating in the “Write a novel in a month” project. (Find out more at http://www.nanowrimo.org/.)

2. Organize something.

People with initiative make things happen; they don’t just participate in something that others made happen. What could you make happen with regard to one of your activities? For example, you could organize extra practices for your sports team if you feel like they would be beneficial.

3. Do it yourself.

Anna Ivey

Anna Ivey

People with initiative are DIY types; they don’t wait for others to do the work for them. They ESPECIALLY don’t count on Mom or Dad to do it for them. They do it for themselves. What have you always left to Mom or Dad to line up? This year line it up for yourself. For example, don’t tell your Mom you’d love to go to a computer camp or travel abroad this summer and expect her to find the programs, get you enrolled, pack your bags, etc. Do some research and come up with the camp you’d like to attend or the travel adventure you’d like to take and then ask your parents for permission and funding. And then do the rest of what it takes to get you to the camp or off on your foreign journey.

4. Add something.

People with initiative make the things they are involved with better by adding something only they can bring. What do you have to add? How can you make it better? For example, if you are a great cartoonist and on the school newspaper, but the newspaper  doesn’t include cartoons, here’s your chance. Volunteer to do a cartoon for each issue of the paper.

5. Ask for something.

People with initiative ask for what they want. What do you want and who can you ask for it. For example, if you want a summer internship at a research lab, ask your science teacher for ideas about where you might get one or ask your Mom or Dad if there is a family friend who works in a research lab who you could approach about summer internship possibilities.

6. Do what needs to be done.

People with initiative do what needs to be done without being told to do it. Think about your various activities. What needs to be done that isn’t getting done? For example, you notice that no one ever updates the Facebook page for the church youth group and so lots of people don’t know about upcoming events. Volunteer yourself as the “Facebook” updater and makes sure all the events get posted.

7. Go above and beyond.

People with initiative go above and beyond. They don’t just do what’s required or what’s asked of them. What’s the extra effort you could make that would be meaningful? For example, you’ve been working with a younger student through a peer tutoring program to fulfill your community service hours. Halfway through the term, you’ve got your required hours, but the student still needs help and seems to like working with you. Give some more of your time and get this student through the term.

how to prepare© 2013 Alison Cooper Chisolm and Anna Ivey, authors of How to Prepare a Standout College Application: Expert Advice that Takes You from LMO* (*Like Many Others) to Admit

Author Bios

Alison Cooper Chisolm heads the college admissions consulting practice at Ivey College Consulting. She came to private consulting after working in admissions for more than 10 years at three selective universities (Southern Methodist University, University of Chicago, and Dartmouth College).

Anna Ivey is the former Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School and founded Ivey Consulting to help college, law school, and MBA applicants navigate the admissions process and make smart choices about higher education.

You can find more college admissions tips in their book How to Prepare a Standout College Application (Wiley, August 2013), and follow them on Twitter @IveyCollege and Facebook.

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Protect Yourself at School

| August 13th, 2013

The new school year is almost upon us. In the flurry of new classes, new books, new friends, and even new places to live, safety is one thing that can be forgotten. Thomas M. Kane, president of The College Safety Zone and author of the book Protect Yourself at College: Smart Choices – Safe Results (Capital Books, 2008, $15.95), has tips for students on protecting themselves in a wide variety of situations at school.

“College campuses are no different than any other town in America. There are problems and crime, but unfortunately, once at school, many students tend to let their guard down,” says Thomas Kane. “It’s almost as if they are lulled into a false sense of security. Many problems can be prevented, however, by employing basic common sense precautions that can significantly reduce the likelihood of being attacked or hurt on campus.”

In Protect Yourself at College, Thomas Kane offers safety tips on multiple topics, such as dorm safety and drinking to date rape and computer crime, including his top ten tips for getting around campus safely:

  • When you walk on campus, walk with confidence. Stand up straight, look directly at people, and make eye contact.
  • Try to walk with someone else. Make it a point to notice who is leaving your class and heading in your direction, either to the dorms or your next class. Chances are they will welcome your company.
  • Make sure you know the exact location of the outdoor emergency phones on campus.
  • Never use an iPod while walking at night.
  • Know the phone number for campus police.
  • Let your roommate or friends know your schedule. Chances are they’d like to give you their schedule as well.
  • Be sure the paths you take have decent lighting and are well traveled.
  • If someone stops and asks you for directions, do not approach the car. Maintain a safe distance between you and the people in the vehicle.
  • Avoid taking shortcuts, especially at night. Yes, you may save two minutes, but you could be inviting problems.
  • If you are driving on campus, always look for parking spaces that are well lit.

“The stories and precautions suggested throughout this book can aid in reducing the risk of a student becoming a victim of a crime or an accident,” says Thomas R. King, Chief of Police, State College, Pennsylvania.

protect yourself at collegeFrom dorm safety and drinking to spring break, date rape and computer crime, Protect Yourself at School offers practical tips for protecting our students from campus crime and accidents from the founder of The College Safety Zone. Based on over three years of extensive research and interviews with college officials, the book is a vital handbook parents will want to give their students as they pack them up for school and school administrators in high school and college will want to hand each student. The book includes quick tips and sane advice for having fun but staying safe, on numerous topics including: Life in the Dorms, Online Social Networking and  Stalkers, Greek Life and Hazing, Alcohol and Drugs, Dating, Spring Break,  and Cyber Crime. Every chapter includes real-life examples and handy checklists.

Thomas M. Kane is an outspoken advocate for college students and their safety.  As president of The College Safety Zone, he is frequently called-upon as a media expert and speaker to student organizations and college officials on campus security and safety issues. Tom is a member of the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities and has appeared on ABC News, The O’Reilly Factor, CNN’s Crossfire, The God Squad, MSNBC, FOX Wire with Rita Cosby, and Geraldo at Large. He has been featured on hundreds of talk-radio programs throughout the United States and Canada. Tom Kane is the author of Priests Are People, Too!. He lives near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his wife and daughter.

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August Heroes of the Month – Kevin Ryan and Tina Kelley

| August 5th, 2013

president of Covenant House

Kevin Ryan

In July, I attended the American Bar Association‘s Conference on Children and the Law, and I am glad that I did because I got to hear two foster heroes give the keynote presentation. Kevin Ryan is the president of Covenant House International, which helps 56,000 at-risk and street youths in over 20 cities in six countries. He wrote the moving book Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Homelessness to Hope with award-winning writer at Covenant House Tina Kelley.

Kevin and Tina were kind enough to answer some questions for us.

  1. What inspired you to write the book Almost Home?

Kevin: “Binnie” was the first young person I ever worked with when I first worked at Covenant House, as a lawyer for street kids. The police brought her to us after she had been living in Kennedy Airport for a week, eating out of trash cans. She had run away from a brutal childhood – her aunt kept her from going to school, made her do all the housework, and sent her to be raped over and over again by a neighbor boy. She was totally dejected when she arrived at our shelter.

Fast forward a few years, and I ran into Binnie at a diner, where she was a waitress. She looked happy, and stood about 4 inches taller somehow. She was putting herself through nursing school, dating a young man from church who loved her in the right way. She eventually married him, had three kids, and became a head nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit of a New Jersey hospital. Her story blew me away—how does a person go through such a transformation, after such challenging beginnings? I wanted to let everyone know the power of the changes that can happen when kids start believing themselves, after receiving unconditional love and respect. It’s their right, and our privilege to provide that.

Tina Kelley

Tina Kelley

Tina: When I was a newspaper reporter, I had always wanted to write a book. I used to volunteer at Covenant House in the late 1980s, and had the utmost respect for its work. When Kevin said he was looking for a co-author, to tell the stories of a handful of homeless young people, it was a dream come true.

2) Was it difficult to find young people willing to share the stories of their difficult lives? Why do you think these six came forward?

Tina: Some of the young people we approached did not want to go through the arduous process of being interviewed and answering countless follow-up questions. It was a big sacrifice for the six people we worked with, to tell their stories, and dig up all those unpleasant experiences and emotions. But they were incredibly gracious and generous with us. We are in their debt.

Kevin: Several of the people we interviewed felt it was their mission to get their stories out into the world. “Muriel,” the sex trafficking survivor in Vancouver, was adamant that people hear her story, so if they felt trapped in a similar situation, they could believe that it was possible to escape. Many of the kids we worked with are rightfully proud of their accomplishments, and want to encourage other homeless or disadvantaged young people to feel hopeful about their futures.

3) During your talk at the Conference on Children and the Law, you mentioned alarming statistics on homelessness and trafficking. Why do you think these problems have gotten so huge? What do we need to do to stop these problems?

Tina: Homeless young people work hard to remain invisible, to keep themselves safe from predators. Sex trafficking victims are kept hidden away, and moved frequently, specifically so they won’t be able to seek help. Gradually, people are becoming aware of the plight of these under-the-radar kids, but they have grown in number due in part to their invisibility, in part to challenging economic times, and in part to breakdowns in family relationships.

almost homeKevin: Our book, Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Homelessness to Hope, has an entire chapter on what we can do to fight youth homelessness and sex trafficking. Covenant House’s website, AbolishChildTrafficking.org, has ideas for how you can get involved. In short, we need people to join our movement to help protect homeless and vulnerable youth. We need changes to the foster care system so kids don’t age out of foster care without families, and quickly become homeless. We need changes to our legal system so that prostituted children are not treated as criminals, but given opportunities for the bright futures they deserve. We need to step up and mentor kids so they know they are valuable and cared for.

4) Your affection and dedication for the children who come to Covenant House was obvious during your talk. It must be difficult to see how their rough lives have impacted them. How do you deal with that?

Kevin: It was difficult, but we came away feeling inspired by all they had become. They are, in many cases, in loving relationships, even becoming loving parents, breaking the patterns they’d grown up under. We also worked hard to develop understanding and compassion for their families, who were battling demons of their own.

Tina: It was so important to get their stories out into the world, that we couldn’t fall apart on the job. I’d have a good cry when I needed to, but knew how important it was to keep up with the work and live up to the kids’ expectations for the book.

5) What advice do you have for youth who need help but haven’t found a resource like Covenant House?

Tina: Keep yourself safe. Believe in yourself. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Get help from a teacher, or a trusted adult. You can also call 1-800-RUNAWAY or visit www.1800runaway.org.

6) What is your advice for the social service workers and counselors who work with these children? What do these children need? How can they reach the children?

Kevin: First of all, bless you for taking on this challenging, potentially life-saving work. Take care of yourself and lift up and encourage your co-workers, because you will need all the strength you can get. As for the kids, they need unconditional love and respect. They need to know that people care and are trustworthy. They need to be convinced about how bright their futures can be. And they need to know that society as a whole cares about them. We can all contribute to our movement to help vulnerable kids achieve their full potential.

Read more success stories.

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Book Recommendations from Our Scholarship Recipients

| July 31st, 2013

Summer is the perfect time to escape into another world through a book – whether it’s a salacious beach read or a book that gets your brain gears smoking. We asked some of the smartest, most fun people we know – the Foster Care to Success Scholarship recipients – what their favorite books were, and they came up with such a great spectrum of books that we wanted to share their recommendations. If you’re looking for a book to pass along to the young people in your life, a fun read for yourself, or a thought-provoking book to stimulate your brain, our scholarship winners have some great recommendations for you.

Books for the Young and Young at Heart

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery A classic children’s book, Anne gained a slew of new fans when PBS aired a miniseries of the book in 1985. The book and its sequels follow the story of Anne, a feisty red-head who lost her parents at a young age. She travels from family to family, often being put to work, until she finally arrives at the home of the Cuthberts. Will this elderly brother and sister allow Anne to stay with them or will Ann’e troublemaking earn her an exit? You’ll just have to read to find out.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Most people have read this best-selling book or seen the movie, but if you haven’t, definitely give it a read. In addition, the teens in your life might enjoy this book about teenagers forced to compete to the death in the annual Hunger Games in a post-apocolyptic world. If you enjoy less stressful books, you might enjoy the author’s Underland Chronicles.

lemony snicketA Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning: Or, Orphans! by Lemony Snicket. I was so happy to see one of the students recommend this book because the series of 13 books contains some of the funniest, interesting, and poignant writing I’ve seen. The series tracks three siblings as they search for a home after their parents die. Each book represents a different family or living situation they live with as they try to escape their first foster parent Count Olaf, who wants them only to claim their inheritance. Be warned – the books do have deaths and potentially scary events in them, so the series is not for sensitive readers.

Other recommended books in this category:

Great Reads for Adults

Roots: The Saga of an American Familywinner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, traces author Alex Haley’s family from an imagined first ancestor in America all of the way to his father. The multi-generational story is engrossing, and when a mini-series of the book aired on television, 130 million watched.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a must-read for everyone who loves the modern vampire, horror and supernatural fiction by women. Mary Shelley wrote about monsters when no other woman was, and her book gives an interesting insight into what monsters represented to readers of her day, quite different than what they represent today.

language of flowersThe Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh tells the story of Victoria Jones, who spent her childhood in the foster care system and keeps her guard up with everyone. The only way she connects to others is through flowers and the meanings. She gets a job in a flower shop, only to have a chance encounter with something from her past. Throughout the book are scattered short definitions of what specific flowers mean, which are very interesting.

My cat Scout says I need to talk about the book To Kill a Mockingbird, which several students recommended. Scout the cat says that any book with a character named after her must be a wonderful book. Okay, I’m kidding about my cat talking, which I’m sure you guessed already, but I’m not kidding about how great this book is. In fact, the book is so well loved around the world that the author Harper Lee only wrote some articles and short stories after the book was published. Supposedly, she couldn’t handle the pressure of writing a second book because she believed it could never live up to the first one. Make sure to watch the Oscar winning movie based on the book, as well. The book is about a girl named Scout and her brother Jem, as they watch their attorney father represent an African-American man in a racially charged case in a racist town.

Other recommended books in this category are:


Thanks to the students for the great book recommendations. What are your favorite books? What books would you recommend to students?

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College Funding Spotlight: Casey Family Services (CFS) Alumni Scholarship

| July 23rd, 2013

Finding money to pay for college can seem daunting to students, almost as difficult as any college class. Most students don’t realize that there are scholarships for everything under the sun, and students don’t have to pay them back like they have to with loans. The College of Wooster gives an annual scholarship to students who can play the bagpipes. Now you might get the picture – there are a lot of scholarships out there for all types of students. Today, we’re going to feature one such scholarship.

Did you participate in the Casey Family Services Foster Care in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont? If so, you may qualify for the Casey Family Services (CFS) Alumni Scholarship. The scholarship provides up to $10,000 in total over the course of a student’s education and must be used within 10 years of the student’s application date.

Funds may be used for tuition or other expenses directly related to educational pursuits (for example, required books, student activity fees, registration fees, dormitory room and board, or living expenses while enrolled as a student). Best yet, family-like support is offered to every CFS Alumni Scholar, such as counseling, mentoring and care packages.

To qualify for the scholarship, students must:

  • Between the ages of 16 and 49 (at the time of the application);
  • Thinking about, starting, or currently attending college or university in pursuit of a certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree, or a professional degree including law or medicine (but not a Ph.D.); or
  • Thinking about, starting or currently attending a technical or vocational school in pursuit of a certificate or certification.

For more information about the scholarship or for the application, please visit: http://www.fc2success.org/programs/cfs/.

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Surprising Tip for Test Success – Have a Snack

| July 22nd, 2013

Have you ever lost your focus or attention in the middle of a test? Has the information you spent hours studying flown out of your head never to return? Stefanie Weisman, author of The Secrets of Top Students: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Acing High School and College, has a surprising tip for maintaining your concentration and retaining information during exams – eat a snack during the test.

Secrets of Top Students“Most nutritionists are concerned with the foods you eat outside the classroom, but they ignore an important strategy for getting better grades: consuming high energy snacks during the exam,” said Weisman, who was an award-winning student in high school and college. “I would never have been a top student without this.”

Of course, if a teacher forbids food and drink in the testing room, don’t put yourself in jeopardy by bringing anything in. But, if you can comfortably bring food into the testing room, Weisman recommends the following to help you keep up your energy and do better on tests.

  1. Apples aren’t only for teachers and teacher’s pets. With their high fiber content, apples pack a lot of energy inside their peels. Weisman recommends cutting up an apple before the test and putting them in a plastic bag.
  2. Fruit leather, more commonly known as roll-ups or fruit strips, pack whole servings of fruit into an easily carried small package. Watch out for the roll-ups that are high in sugar. You don’t want the typical sugar roller coaster ride of a burst of energy, followed by a crash.
  3. What’s more fun food play than peeling string cheese? Weisman recommends this good source of protein as easy to eat and transportable. “You can eat it in under a minute if you bite it instead of pulling it off in strings,” said Weisman.
  4. Fruit and nut bars also are easy to transport and good sources of protein. Like fruit roll ups, watch for the bars with a lot of sugar.

Do you snack during tests and exams? What foods help keep you going during tests?

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July – the Unofficial ETV Month

| July 18th, 2013

Come around the Foster Care to Success office in July, and you’ll find our phones lit up like Manhattan skyline as students apply for the Educational Training Voucher (ETV) Program, which provides funding and support to foster youth for post-secondary education. The application process is easy, but understandably, nerve-wracking for students trying to make sure their school and associated costs are paid for. There’s no need to worry, though.

This summer, Foster Care to Success launched a new website making the ETV application process easier for students in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina and Ohio. If you’re a student needing information on ETV or to apply, visit Fosteru.org.

ETV is an annual federal grant provided to states to fund youth who have aged out of the foster care system and who are enrolled in college, university and vocational training programs. Students may receive up to $5,000 a year based on their cost of attendance. They must enroll before their 21st birthday and may continue to receive support until age 23. Funds may be used for tuition, dorm fees, books, student loan repayments and qualified living expenses. ETV funds can be combined with other grants and scholarships to minimize or eliminate the need for student loans. Don’t forget – students wanting ETV funds must re-apply every year.

To qualify for ETV funding, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Youth must be in foster care, adopted from foster care after age 16, or aged out of foster care.
  • For most states, youth must be aged 18-20; however the age requirement varies by state.
  • Youth must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Youth must be accepted into or enrolled in a Title IV, accredited college or vocational/technical training program.

To apply, fill out the online application AND send in the required paperwork.

  1. The ETV Financial Aid Release Form. Students must complete and sign the top part of this form and bring it to their school’s financial aid office. The financial aid officer fills in cost of attendance and all of the student’s other loans, grants and scholarships and faxes it to ETV. This form shows ETV the student’s ESTIMATED NEED.
  2. The ETV Cashier Statement. Students must complete and sign the top part of this form and bring it to their school’s cashier/bursar’s office. The bursar fills it in and faxes it to ETV. This form shows ETV if the student has any unpaid tuition and specifies when tuition is/was due.
  3. The ETV Student Participation Agreement. This form explains the student’s responsibilities as a program participant. It must be must signed and faxed or mailed to ETV before funding is disbursed.

Once you’ve applied, you can check the status of your application online by clicking on your state on the home page of FosterU and from there, on “Update my information/Check my status.” After entering your user name and password (assigned when you first apply), you can see your current status, including what paperwork (forms and transcripts) has been received and what still needs to be submitted.

The process doesn’t stop when you get your check. To keep your current funding and remain in good standing for next year, you have to sign and follow the ETV Student Participation Agreement’s list of student’s responsibilities. The requirements are:

  • Students must demonstrate that they are making progress toward their educational goals.
  • Students must stay in touch with ETV by email or phone, at least twice a month.
  • Students must read their email at least once a week.
  • Students must send in new ETV forms each semester/quarter in order to receive ETV funds.
  • Students must ask their schools to mail their official transcripts to ETV at the end of each semester/quarter funded by ETV.
  • Students must update their applications every time their personal information changes.

Good luck with your application. If you’ve applied, you’ll be hearing from the ETV coordinators soon. We can’t wait to talk to you.

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