Did you know only half of youth in foster care graduate from high school? Less than 3% graduate from college.
“We break barriers – insufficient support, lack of appropriate guidance, and unmet financial support- facing our youth, so they can overcome negative graduation odds among their peers in foster care,” says Coleen LaCosta, Executive Director of Speak Up for Kids. “We cheer them on across the finish line and recognize them with GIFTS for GRADS and our Scholarship.” The Flourishing Futures campaign exists to rally the community in celebration of young adults who, despite involvement in the foster care system, are graduating from high school +GED, college, or vocational school.
Speak Up’s Scholarship
Created in partnership with Leadership Palm Beach County, Speak Up’s annual Scholarship offers awards to graduating high school seniors within the foster care system and Community Youth Volunteers of STUDENTS Speak Up for Kids, a peer-to-peer advocacy program. “Our goal is to create a pathway for the community to rally around our youth, so each grad has the connections and support essential for a flourishing future,” says LaCosta.
With a passion for influencing law and policy, Scholarship Awardee Sophia Mills, of Boca Raton Community High School, will attend Harvard University this fall. “My SSUFK experience is significant because it allowed me to learn about a real issue, connect with countless leaders who advocate for foster children in my community, and use that knowledge to enact change,” says Mills, a Community Youth Volunteer of STUDENTS SUFK. “Growing in this organization helped me find what I want to do in the future and allowed me to have a meaningful high school experience.”
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