At a crossroads of incarceration or graduation, the nsoro Foundation steps in to change the foster youth narrative of poverty, homelessness, and welfare. Our weeklong college immersion program is offered exclusively to high school students in foster care, currently on 8 university campuses. An enriching curriculum of S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) instruction, self-advocacy practice, financial literacy education, and health and wellness exposure equips students with the tools they need to rewrite their futures.
When a youth in foster care attends College Bound, they experience more than a one week program—they experience a vision of life beyond their current circumstances and receive an educational roadmap to break the cycles of poverty, abuse, and dependence on welfare. College Bound prepares youth in foster care for postsecondary education and a successful career with the expectation that 100% of the attendees will enroll in a two or four year college, technical, or vocational school and become nsoro Scholars. When our College Bound graduate matriculates to college, we support them from the day they step on campus to the moment they walk across the stage.
Why College Bound Matters
For many students in foster care, College Bound is their only opportunity to visit a university, something most high school students experience with their parents. We consider it a responsibility to ‘parent’ that college experience for youth in foster care through our College Bound Program.
Youth in foster care face harsh odds:
- 78% of our current death row population has spent time in the foster care system
- 75% function at below grade level
- 50% unemployment rate for 24 year olds
- 15% will receive a high school diploma, only 10% will attend college and a mere 3% will earn a college degree
- 1 in 5 will become homeless within two years of aging out of the foster care system
College Bound students beat the odds:
- 94% report increased ability and likelihood to apply for college
- 67% report increased confidence in their ability to meet their educational and career goals
- 63% increase in participants pursuit of an engineering career
- 55% increase in ability to handle and balance a checkbook
- 121% increase in participants ability to manage their finances
Bound for Success
College Bound is now inviting companies to play an active role in the success of the program and the future success of its students. Through the Bound for Success corporate partnership program, companies have the opportunity to take their corporate social responsibility efforts to new heights. Corporate partners of Bound for Success will support a vulnerable population, provide their employees with meaningful opportunities to volunteer and grow professionally, and be certain of a strong return on investment.
Bound for Success corporate partners have the opportunity to provide up to 100 of their employees with a range of meaningful, hands on volunteer activities during the course of the program. Based on the needs and requests of students and staff, nsoro has developed four signature volunteer events, but will craft customizable opportunities specifically for your employees as the collaboration continues.
Bound for Success Signature Volunteer Events
- Food for Thought: Lunch and learns that give corporate leaders the opportunity to tell their story and share lessons learned on the journey from high school to the corner office
- Getting the Call Back: Mock interviews where students practice these important and nerve-wracking skills in a low-pressure, supportive environment
- Undercover Boss: Students are invited to the corporate office to learn about the company’s work and culture, and to shadow a professional for a day of hands on learning
- Chat n Chew: Students practice networking and effective self-advocacy during a mocktail party
- S.T.E.A.M specific modules:
- “Freshman Funds”: Comprehensive financial literacy courses to prepare students for budgeting and managing their personal finances
- “The New Urban Garden”: Hands-on exposure to implementing and maintaining an aquaponics system
- “Code your Character”: Integration of technology and storytelling to empower students to find their voice and develop self confidence
Becoming A Partner
The cost of operating each College Bound camp for up to 30 students is $50,000. The nsoro Foundation is seeking eight corporate sponsors at this level for the Bound for Success initiative to underwrite the cost of the 2018 College Bound Program, allowing for expansion to new campuses and the ability to serve more students in their pursuit of post-secondary education.
To explore participating in this unique opportunity to leverage your company’s brand, resources, and employees’ talents, while nurturing and empowering a vulnerable and marginalized population, please contact nsoro Foundation Executive Director Monica Pantoja at 404.524.0807 or firstname.lastname@example.org.