Southern California Program

United Friends of the Children

Education
Los Angeles, CA
$300,000
June 2016

The College Readiness Program of the United Friends of the Children (UFC) creates a college bound culture for foster youth who would not traditionally find academic success.  Serving more than 500 foster youth throughout Los Angeles County each year, the program’s overall goals are to help participants graduate high school eligible for a four-year-college, apply to and go on to attend college.  Among students who have been involved in the program for four years or more: 100% have earned a high school diploma, 67% graduated four-year college eligible, and 97% matriculated to either a four-year institution (51%) or a community college.  At the core of each of UFC’s programs is the belief that the best way to make a measurable impact in the lives of foster youth is to develop trusting relationships.  Central to the program design is the assignment of each program participant to a College Readiness Counselor who will follow them throughout their tenure in the program, providing educational advocacy, counseling and support through regular individual meetings, often in the student’s home.  Other key program elements include group workshops on topics from career awareness to college and financial aid applications, an annual college fair, group visits to local colleges, as well as tutoring and test preparation.  Caregiver trainings and family-focused events are offered to promote a college-going atmosphere at home.  UFC’s College Sponsorship Program supports youth through graduation via frequent contact with their assigned Counselor, connections to paid summer internships and study abroad programs, and financial assistance.  A three-year grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will support a cohort of high school students as they advance through the College Readiness Program beginning in tenth grade.

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