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New program offered in Arizona will help foster youth get college education

In 2013, a bill was signed into law by former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer that offers free tuition to Arizona youth living in foster care.

But even more will be done to improve the national graduation rate for foster youth, which is currently below 5 percent.

A grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust will do just that. The grant will launch a program projected to increase the success rate for foster youth in Arizona.

“Bridging Success” aims to connect current and prospective students to the resources that may help them complete their college education. It will also reach out to community members and organizations to raise awareness about the tuition waiver for foster youth and the support services available at Arizona State University, which is piloting the project.

The program will also host educational workshops and social events throughout the semester.

“The partnerships we are developing with units across ASU are a critical component of the Bridging Success program. By working together, we can reduce the barriers that can challenge youth who wish to pursue an ASU degree and get them connected to resources that will support them – from the first day of classes to graduation day. Bridging Success provides an opportunity for all of us to demonstrate that we are fully committed to improving the success outcomes for youth who have been in foster care,” said Jeanne Hanrahan, liaison, University Academic Success Programs Administration.

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