on foster care issues:

Our Programs Aim Higher Fellows


The Aim Higher Fellows Program develops FC2S Scholars to become community ambassadors as they share academic advice, guidance and life skills with current high school foster youth in order to improve college readiness.

Only 3-10 percent of foster students graduate college. FC2S challenges youth to Aim Higher


2014 Aim Higher Fellows

The Aim Higher Fellows Program is dedicated to improving foster youth graduation rates by beginning the college preparation process one step earlier: in high school.

Aim Higher improves college readiness for current high school foster students by tapping into the experiences and unique perspectives of successful FC2S scholars. The program provides FC2S college students and graduates with the opportunity to serve as role models to their younger foster care peers by offering advice and guidance about academic and life skills.

Research shows that positive peer pressure plays a key role in academic success. Upon completing the program, fellows return to their local communities and combine their college experiences with the knowledge and skills gained during the Aim Higher Fellowship to help positively influence foster teens, helping them better understand the high school to college transition. Fellows also become adept at providing information to caregivers and professionals responsible for supporting foster youth as they transition to adulthood.

Program Overview

Annually, a group of dynamic FC2S college students and graduates are carefully selected to join the Aim Higher Fellows Program. Fellows travel to Washington, D.C. each June for an intensive two-week program where they participate in diverse professional and personal development courses.

Trainings include:

  • Critical communication skills
  • College readiness and post-secondary success
  • Leveraging social media and networking tips
  • Public speaking and presentation skills
  • Video production
  • Goal setting and project management
  • Effective teamwork and collaboration

Students share a range of post-secondary insights with their peers, including tips on:

  • Balancing work, life, and academics
  • Time management
  • Accessing post-secondary educational resources for foster youth
  • Completing college applications and enrollment
  • Effectively communicating with social workers & foster parents

Over the course of the year, Fellows remain engaged in the program through additional video production, speaking engagements and professional development, career coaching, and support.

Program History

In 1994, FC2S established the Washington Leadership Program, providing engagement opportunities for college foster youth. Under the program, students traveled to Washington, DC to participate in internships, promote foster care awareness on Capitol Hill and secure scholarship opportunities. Since transitioning to Aim Higher to focus on high school foster youth and college preparedness, FC2S has helped X foster students along their academic and professional journeys.

Program Value

Aim Higher Fellows possess a deep sense of responsibility for improving foster youth outcomes. The fellowship program harnesses this desire to “give back” by providing Fellows with opportunities to support their younger peers in foster care as they learn new skills, enhance their own career potential, and forge relationships while successfully navigating the college landscape.

“Aim Higher was one of the most pivotal experiences of my life. It restored my faith in a system I believed to be broken entirely and spending time with so many sharp like-minded young folks from so many different places in America restored my faith in humanity.” – Daniel “Lee” Vandenberg, 2014 North Carolina Aim Higher Fellow