Former Foster Youth Celebrate Early Christmas
RALEIGH, N.C. (December 5, 2018) - Christmas arrived early today for students in Wake Tech’s Fostering Bright Futures program! These students, formerly in foster care, are now on their own, in college at Wake Tech and on their way to earning college degrees. The students enjoyed a holiday party that included food, fellowship, gifts, and a surprise visit from Santa Claus!
Thirty students gathered with mentors, volunteers, and community sponsors to celebrate their accomplishments. Two students who are graduating this weekend were also recognized. Kelsea Read was accepted into Wake Tech’s nursing program. Marquita Foster is transferring to NC State University.
Each student filled out a wish list and received gifts that were purchased with generous donations. “This is a special treat for the students – and very emotional,” says Michelle Blackmon, Fostering Bright Futures Program Director. “Many of them will not have presents to open on Christmas Day.”
Blackmon and Doris Huebner, Vice-Chair of the Wake Tech Board of Trustees, organized the event with help from volunteers. They shopped for gifts and even held a wrapping party.
Fostering Bright Futures is a public-private partnership that provides tutoring, mentoring, and financial support to help former foster youth pursue higher education. The program has helped many young adults beat considerable odds and lead happier and more productive lives.
Fostering Bright Futures started in 2008 to help former foster care youth earn degrees from Wake Tech by providing academic and financial support. Currently, there are 30 students in the program and 45 on the waiting list. So far, 11 students have earned associate’s degrees: 7 have transferred to universities, and 6 are working in their field of study (dental assisting, plumbing, and banking). Less than 3 percent of youth aging out of foster care attend college and graduate.