Samaritas guides foster youth through college with federally-funded educational assistance grants. Samaritas Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program grants and case managers support foster youth toward obtaining their educational goals.

Most youth transition to adulthood gradually, with continued financial and emotional support from their families well beyond 18. It’s not that easy for foster youth, who are too old for the child welfare system but not yet prepared to live successfully as adults. Every year, approximately 29,500 foster youth nationwide “age out” of the system and are expected to make it on their own. In Michigan, that number is approximately 500.

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Did you know…

according to a recent study, only 3% of foster care alumni complete a bachelor’s degree by age 26, compared with 24% of the general population.

The top three barriers to success encountered by youth aging out of foster care are:

  1. Housing/Food – No consistent, safe, affordable place to stay and no regular meals.
  2. Support – No one to talk to or offer emotional support and guidance on decision-making.
  3. Finances – Money for transportation or to cover school.

 

Children forced into independence too soon face frightening odds:

  • Fewer than 6 percent finish a 2- or 4-year college degree by age 24
  • Nearly one-quarter don’t earn a high school diploma or GED
  • Only half are employed by their mid-20s
  • Six in 10 men are convicted of a crime, and 3 out of 4 women
  • Only 48 percent are working, compared with 72 percent of their peers, with a median annual income of $8,000
  • Nearly 40 percent end up homeless

you can help

It’s not their fault. You can help by offering guidance and assisting foster youth in achieving what we take for granted: a college degree, home ownership, healthy relationships and productive careers.

You can start the application process or get more information at the Education and Training Voucher (ETV) website