For many young people throughout the country, June marks a time of transition and celebration as they embark on a new chapter in their lives. This is certainly the case at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois where we celebrate our graduates, especially our high school graduates, as they reach this important milestone.
Unfortunately many young people in foster care face difficulty finding educational stability. Statistics show that on average 46% of youth in foster care never graduate from high school, and only 3% obtain a college degree. Ensuring educational successes and development for the young men and women in our care is a top priority at SOS Illinois. Our 100% high school graduation rate is a direct reflection of that; it’s an accomplishment we are proud to celebrate. We commend our young men and women for their dedication and work to support their next steps.
One pivotal way we support our youth beyond high school is through our College Bound and Beyond program. The College Bound and Beyond Program involves a care team of Foster Parents, educators, and community members, ensuring each child successfully matriculates to the next grade level. The overarching goal of the College Bound and Beyond program is to offer comprehensive support through every level of learning, including post-college support, to ensure every young person’s potential is maximized.
At the core of the program are five main components: Academic Preparation; College Outreach; Application Support; Job Readiness; and Material/Technological Support. Essential educational needs are addressed through three levels: Tier I – Early Leaders, focuses on essential STEM curricula for children ages 12 to 16; Tier II – College Bound, engages youth ages 16 to 19, supporting awareness and test preparation for the goal of entering college; and Tier III – SOS Alumni, provides educational and training services to help young adults, ages 20 to 22, enter the workforce and pursue careers.
Each year we seek to improve the program. We couldn’t do that without the generosity of the following corporate partners whose support of the College Bound and Beyond Program only helps us better it.
College Bound and Beyond Corporate Partners
- Chicago Blackhawks Community Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund
- Mission & Ministry, Inc.
- US Bank
- Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation
The need for this kind of support is never-ending. Hand in hand with a dedication to educational development is our belief in the importance of inspiring our children to dream about their futures. As we seek to develop opportunities for our young dreamers, we need champions to help open new doors for them.
Celebrate our 2016 graduates and all our youth with us by becoming an SOS Children’s Villages Illinois Dream Maker. Together we can support their aspirations for bright futures ahead and encourage them to never stop reaching for their goals.