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Foster Youth Program

Stories

The Day I Aged Out Part 1

Older youth in foster care often experience placement moves which can negatively impact their educational progress as they adjust to new schools. Research shows that traumatic experiences can impact learning, behavior and relationships at school, diminishing concentration, memory, and the organizational and language abilities children need to succeed in school. For the 2018/2019 Academic Year, the California state average for foster youth high school graduation rates was 55 percent. In Butte County, the foster youth graduation rate was 88 percent!

 Curious what it is like for foster youth as they transition out of care?  Check out part one of three in this series  “The Day I Age Out” which follows transition aged foster youth nearing age 21: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MFIMHiOu3Y (opens in new window)and join us for part 2 as we continue to follow these resilient youth on their journey to adulthood!

The Day I Aged Out Part 2

What does it mean to age out of the foster care system? The term "aging out" refers to youth who are still in the foster care system when they reach the age of adulthood. Until 2012, youth aged out of foster care at 18. With the persistence of foster youth advocacy, California youth can now stay in foster care until age 21 if they choose to do so.

Still, with trauma experiences and often a lack of permanent and supportive adults, statistics show the challenges faced by this population. Imagine the obstacles our students have overcome to find their way to Chico State! Their resilience is something to be celebrated and continued support is vital to their success!

In Part 1, we met Mykell and Corey, two foster youth who spent their lives in the foster care system.  Join us for The Day I Age Out Part 2 as Mykell and Corey reach age 21 and face challenges with housing and ambiguous grief while continuing their journey into adulthood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CivaH2bO2z8(opens in new window)

The Day I Aged Out Part 3

In the second video, we saw Mykell and Corey navigating challenges unique to transition aged foster youth. As we end our journey with them, theirs is just beginning. In The Day I Age Out Part 3https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LbxCKQnFFE&t=442s(opens in new window) they find housing and Mykell reconnects with a former foster parent whose unconditional love and support meant so much to Mykell. While their past will always be with them, they look forward to their futures and are reaching for their goals!

What does this all mean for our students here at Chico State?

There are roughly 150 students with a foster care or unaccompanied homeless experience at Chico State. Students must self-identify and provide verifying documentation during the admissions process. Because of this and other factors, including stigma, it’s very likely that the total number is much higher. Due to limited resources, PATH Scholars only serves approximately 75 students. 

PATH Scholars supports students with focused educational support, mentoring, financial literacy, and specific liaisons in key campus departments, as well as priority housing and priority course registration. Retention rates for PATH Scholar students is 85-94% since the program began! Support from faculty and staff across campus is vital to the success of our students!

How can you help? The PATH Scholars Mentor Program is a wonderful opportunity to connect with one of our amazing students to be their confidant, cheerleader and support person. If you’re interested in mentoring a student for the 2020/21 academic year, please contact Dawn Carini at dcarini@csuchico.edu(opens in new window)

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