One of our core values at CareerPlug is Give Back and this year we’ve started something special to honor that value. Clint Smith, president and founder of CareerPlug, worked closely with Foster Angels of Central Texas to develop the CareerPlug Scholars Award – a $10,000 scholarship awarded to a former foster youth to help them continue their education.
This year’s recipient was chosen by CareerPlug’s staff after a review of personal essays and was honored at the Fifth Annual Appreciation Luncheon hosted by Foster Angels in Austin, TX.
In the United States, only 11% of foster children attend college and just 2.5% will graduate. The support, resources, and stability that help so many succeed in their education is a privilege many foster youth lack. While Texas has a Foster Care Exemption – waiving any state college tuition of former foster children who are accepted on their own merit – very few foster youth take advantage of this program.
“I realized that it takes a lot more than a tuition waiver to help someone prepare for college and actually graduate,” Smith said. “These students need money for housing and other living expenses, and they need the support. They’re pretty much on their own, and it can be a difficult transition.”
CareerPlug has big plans for this new program, hoping not only to provide more scholarships but to add resources and mentoring opportunities to set former foster youth up for long-term success. “Our goals are to 1) help more former foster youth attend college and 2) help more of them graduate from college,” Smith said.
Foster Angels of Central Texas is a non-profit organization founded to improve the lives of children in foster care – ensuring that each child has his/her basic needs met and to provide life-enriching experiences whenever possible. Their luncheon, held today (April 15, 2015) was a beautiful tribute to caseworkers and local foster children and we were honored to be among so many giving, resilient leaders, advocates, and youth.
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