Here at Blavin Scholars, we have one guiding mission: to support youth aging out of foster care in their dreams to achieve a post-secondary education and a better life. But if you think all we do is finance their education, you would be way off the mark. You see, it takes a whole lot more than money to get a foster care youth through college. In fact, the money is really the least of it. What matters more than anything is consistent emotional, transitional and educational support, so that is where we focus our energy.
One of the most critical aspects of the Blavin Scholars Program is to the support network created for the students. This network provides a solid foundation for students to thrive and succeed throughout their four years of school and beyond. The network often includes a Blavin Scholars representative, other Blavin students, a college guidance counselor/faculty adviser, a coach or professor and any other caring adults who want to be there to help. Armed with this support team, students gain confidence and stand a far better chance of succeeding than going it alone.
College can be a daunting process for anyone and foster kids often find it more overwhelming that other students. Their Blavin support team is there to help them make decisions on everything from classes to housing to transportation and more. The goal is to support that Scholar in navigating and maximizing their college experience. Recent research from the DC-Based Institute for Higher Education Policy has revealed that both social and emotional support are critical factors that have a direct impact student behaviors and intentions toward persistence. This research also shows evidence that a student’s perception of being integrated into campus life can lead to a better sense of belonging which can increase persistence.
Here at Blavin, we already know that support is critical to our scholars’ success. And so we provide plenty of it throughout the entire college experience; helping ensure these kids have all the tools they need to stay the course and succeed.