Here are some national statistics alongside Stepping Forward LA statistics:
Graduate High School
Nationally, roughly 50% of foster youth graduate with their high school diploma
Stepping Forward LA - over 90% of our young adults have earned their high school diploma or equivalency degrees
Nationally, only 13% of former foster youth attend a college or university
Stepping Forward LA - a majority, 65%, of our young adults attend community college, trade school or a certificate program (i.e. nursing and personal trainer).
Graduate College with a Bachelor's Degree
Nationally, only 3% of former foster youth graduate with a Bachelor's Degree
Stepping Forward LA - we currently have 10% of our young adults who have graduated with their Bachelor's Degree
"Education is the most powerful weapon with which you can change the world."
A major component of the program is to help young adults determine their goals to further their education. It is important that we meet them where they are while also encouraging them to explore higher education. The main goal is to instill in them a love of learning and not just focused on the attainment of a degree.
Many of our young adults find that when they are in the company of our staff and volunteers the thought of going to college appears more desirable and attainable. We ask former foster youth to come back and share what they have learned to motivate the foster youth still in the system. It is easier to stay or get back on track while still in high school than to go back and try to get back on track once a young adult has aged out.
We encourage all of our young adults to complete their high school equivalency as soon as possible. Mostly for the sense of satisfaction that they receive and from there many take the next steps to keep setting larger and larger goals for themselves. We connect current and former foster youth to the many resources available to them including grants and scholarships, bridge programs, study tips, field trips to local campuses, connections to Guardian Scholar programs on campus at most colleges and universities and bring in speakers including former foster youth who have graduated with their Associates, Bachelors and Masters degrees.