A new program is set to help fostered youth pursue higher education

DELAWARE – Youth in the first state, have a new opportunity to help students pursue higher education.

Through the Aspire 529 program fostered youth will receive an award to help with financial obstacles when going to school. The state of Delaware found that less than 3 percent of all youth who age out of foster care actually graduate from a 4-year college, and even less from a vocational training program.

“Higher education is a daunting task especially when the financial burden is on our own shoulders,” says Colleen Davis, the Delaware State Treasurer.

The Aspire 529 program funding helps lift that weight for those who need it most. That includes foster youth who have been neglected, abused, and moved from home to home all while trying to further their education.

“Overcoming all of that, graduating high school, and then they have the tenacity and the resiliency to want to go on for their education and improve themselves and the community at large,” says Caroline Jones, President, and Founder of Kind to Kids Foundation.

Delaware State Treasurer Colleen Davis says with Aspire529 that opportunity is here.

“We really wanted to change the dynamic there and create Aspire529 to really help uplift foster youth and really help young adults coming out of the foster youth program to achieve those higher education goals that they may have,” says Davis.

To put it in perspective, this funding can help with things we often overlook but could go a long way for a college student.

“There very small dollar amounts, it’s a tire repair or a payment for rent or things like that, that can be enough to cause particularly fostered youth to drop out of an educational program that is extremely impactful and can be a huge boon to their economic outlook in the future.

Caroline Jones who works with fostered youth says these types of programs are necessary and will change lives.

“They need and deserve this kind of help to help them succeed in life and it just makes the world a better place.  And it enables them to achieve their dreams for a bright future 7.04>

on top of the award – Aspire 529 will also give youth the opportunity to connect with Stand By Me.
that organization will provide 2 free financial coaching lessons with a skilled professional to continue economic power into adulthood.

You can find the application to apply for the award here. The application for Aspire529 is open now and will close on July 31st and winners will be notified by September 1st.

Categories: Check It Out, Delaware, Education, Local News