TWU receives $103,000 grant to aid former foster care youth
TWU will implement the Frontiers Program to address the special needs of TWU students who are “aging out” of the foster care system. According to Dr. Monica Mendez-Grant, associate vice president for student life and principal investigator of the grant, only 15 percent of the 1,500 youth who age out of Texas foster care each year go on to any type of higher education. Less than 3 percent of those who do will earn a four-year degree. Fewer than half of the youth are employed four years after leaving state care.
“TWU students who recently have aged out of the foster system don’t have the support system that most other students do,” Dr. Mendez-Grant said. “They often can’t afford all the books and technology they need for their classes, and they don’t have anyone at home to turn to for help. Many of them don’t even have a home.”
The Frontiers Program, set to begin in the 2012-13 school year, will provide specialized services including career development, leadership training and networking opportunities to 15 foster youth over the next three years. Financial support in the form of stipends will be offered to allow participants time for classes, studying and taking part in campus programs. Participants also will receive a laptop computer to increase their access to technology.
The goal of the program is to retain or graduate 50 percent of Frontiers Program participants each academic year.
“A number of foster care youth enroll at TWU each year,” Dr. Mendez-Grant said. “These students already have beaten the odds by applying and meeting the criteria to be accepted; however, even greater obstacles remain. The Frontiers Program will provide support and strategies to help them succeed as they transition into adulthood.”
For more information on the TWU Frontiers Program, contact Dr. Mendez-Grant or Susan Cruise at (940) 898-3615.
TG is a public, non-profit corporation created by the Texas Legislature in 1979 to offer resources to help students and families plan and prepare for college. Since 2005, TG has awarded more than $34 million in grant funding through the TG Public Benefit Grant Program. For more information, visit www.tgslc.org/publicbenefit.
page updated 3/10/2014 1:47 PM