PHOENIX - Grand Canyon University and the Arizona state government have introduced a scholarship program that can be a game changer for kids in the foster care system.
The program is called the Fostering Futures Scholarship, and it will cover 100% of tuition fees, as well as room and board for those eligible.
According to the organization Foster Care to Success, less than 10% of foster youth graduate from college.
"In 2019, less than half of foster children pursued higher education," said Gov. Doug Ducey. "This new scholarship will ensure more of these kids have access to a high quality, affordable education."
Woman in foster care system speaks out
Jacqueline Carter knows the struggle of worrying about where she was going to stay, or what she was going to eat.
Carter found herself in the foster care system in her late teens.
"It was very frustrating because I'm, like, I'm 17. I can take care of myself," said Carter.
One can imagine the wave of emotions, but one thing is for sure: Carter knew she wanted more for her life. At the age of 17, she was offered a scholarship at GCU, but had to pay for her own room and board.
"That's where I learned how to navigate the world on my own, and I made a lot of mistakes. I learned from them, and I grew from them and being there gave me a safe place to do that," said Carter.
Carter graduated from GCU in 2020, and is currently a social worker who helps young people who are where she used to be. Carter said she hopes this one-of-a-kind program will get more foster kids into college classrooms to help bridge the gap.
"Hopefully, we get to a point where more and more foster youth are deciding to go to college, and they are actually finishing college and they are contributing to society, and they don’t have to let their past or where their from define them," said Carter.
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