May 25, 2023

The Golden Ticket: JBAY Unveils College Planning Resources for Foster Youth

The Golden Ticket: JBAY Unveils College Planning Resources for Foster Youth

The school year is coming to a close, and graduation season is upon us. We congratulate all the students who are about to receive their high school and college degrees and forge a new path ahead. 

To increase access to higher education, John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY) has developed a series of 13 short videos for foster youth. Each video features current and former foster youth who share their experience transitioning from high school to higher education. Topics include priority registration, connecting to campus resources, college selection and more. 

Former foster youth Lucero Noyola is featured in the videos, together with her sister Carmen Noyola.

Lucero describes being incarcerated and barely being able to graduate from high school. She started her academic journey at East Los Angeles Community College and completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Southern California (USC). “College was the golden ticket that helped me move up in life and establish myself independently.”

Her sister Carmen was equally successful. She received her Bachelor’s degree from USC and went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Urban Planning. Carmen explains that in addition to academic skills, college taught her crucial life skills. “College taught me how to act like a professional. It was more than just a degree.”

Along with this series of videos, JBAY created a college planning guide for adult supporters of foster youth. It includes information about the different college pathways and options that exist for foster youth, what steps foster youth can take to prepare for college from grade 6 through 12, and more. 

Research shows that 86 percent of foster youth desire to attend college, but only 48 percent enroll within one year after completing high school. Foster youth need more assistance with college planning, and JBAY’s new resources are here to help. 

“Resources like these are critical,” according to JBAY Executive Director Amy Lemley. “They provide the most up-to-date information about the college matriculation process as well as perspectives from young people that show college is possible. We are very excited to see these materials used to make higher education more accessible for foster youth in California.”

As foster youth move through middle school and high school, the road to higher education can be tough and uncertain. However, with the right resources and guidance, foster youth will know that college is attainable for them. 

By offering these resources to foster youth during their middle and high school years, we can increase their chances of pursuing higher education and opening doors for a brighter future. To access the full list of college planning resources, visit our website here