Foster Care to College

By Katie Kaiser, College Success Foundation

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I believe that education changes life trajectories and lifts people out of poverty.  I have had the privilege to support two organizations that hold this belief at the core of their missions-Treehouse and the College Success Foundation (CSF).  My passion for working with foster youth was actually ignited during a graduate internship at Treehouse.  When the opportunity arose to manage the Foster Care Initiatives Team at CSF, I jumped at the chance to continue advocating for the education success of this resilient group of students.

Make It Happen Event College Success Foundation

For 15 years, the College Success Foundation has provided scholarships and supports to help low-income students, including foster youth, navigate their individual path to college completion. Since our inception, CSF and Treehouse have worked together to instill in the belief that higher education is possible for youth in foster care and to move the needle on higher education outcomes for foster youth in our state.

College Success Foundation and Treehouse partner to send kids to college

Washington State has phenomenal financial aid resources and college supports for young people from care.  If students have been in foster care at any time after turning 13, their classes will likely be paid for at most Washington State colleges.  The earlier students can remove finances as a barrier, the more likely they will go to college!

Our partners at Treehouse help us spread this message and connect their students to resources available through CSF. Each year, Treehouse staff help us recruit dozens of students to benefit from CSF programs like the Achievers College Preparation Program, the Governors’ Scholarship for Foster Youth and the Make it Happen! College Campus Experience.  We also help to ease the transition from foster care to college, by connecting college bound Treehouse students to the resources available on campuses around the state.  Together Treehouse and CSF are working to set foster youth on the path to college success!

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About the Author

Katie Kaiser, MPA, manages the Foster Care Initiatives Team at the College Success Foundation, a local nonprofit working to eliminate the higher education opportunity gap for low income students.

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