Programs aides foster youth

Los Medanos College created a new program this semester to help students from foster care backgrounds be successful in college.

As part of LMC’s long-term plan to minimize inequality on campus, it was decided that LMC needed to better support foster youth due to the low graduation rates among those students.

“Research shows that a large percentage of foster youth have difficulty staying in college or graduating. This program is to support foster youth students with staying in college and getting a degree,” DSPS Counselor Haydee Lindgren, a member of the Foster Youth Committee & Success Team, said.

According to Woods, only about two to 11 percent of foster youth graduate from college nationwide.

“We wanted to do things to increase the graduation and transfer rates of foster youth in our community,” Woods said.

The program provides academic counseling, personal counseling, financial aid assistance, scholarship information, skill-building workshops and more.

In order to join, students must be current or former foster youths, meet with the program’s counselor at least once per semester and be enrolled in six units.

25 students in the program were awarded a scholarship called the John Burton Scholarship Book Fund, giving the students up to $350 per semester for textbooks.

The program has several upcoming events such as a library workshop on April 22, an ice cream social on April 22 and a Foster Youth Education Summit on April 28 from 4 to 7 p.m.

The Foster Youth Education Summit is open to foster youth between the ages of 16 to 19 and their caregivers. The registration deadline is April 22nd and space is limited. To RSVP, email [email protected]. It will be held in the LMC Recital Hall.

For more information about the LMC Foster Youth program, visit their website at or contact Connie Woods at [email protected].