On August 2nd, ten of our children in foster care from Lockport Village traveled to Eastern Illinois University for a look at the opportunities that attending a four-year college could provide them. It was a wonderful mixture of ages, with some preparing to enter into their sophomore and junior years of high school and others having just graduated.
Personal Experiences Bring EIU to Life
Our group of children met with the Admissions Advisor as well as the Campus Counselor at Eastern Illinois University, and during their tour, they met with several of the faculty that had previously attended EIU themselves. It was the sharing of those personal experiences that really brought the campus and all it has to offer to life for our touring teens.
Multiple Interests Uncovered on Tour Day
One of the incredible benefits of the college tour at Eastern Illinois University was the vast amount of information provided regarding the classes, programs, and extracurricular benefits offered on their campus. The youth in our care expressed interest in the Study Abroad program as well as the different student organizations available, but the biggest excitement for extracurriculars came in the sports department, specifically EIU’s basketball team as many of our children enjoy playing the sport.
SOS Illinois Goes Beyond Primary Education for Children in Foster Care
At SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, we take pride in placing educational success and development for our youth as a top priority. One of the ways we do this is by championing our young dreamers through their secondary education and long after with our College Bound and Beyond Program.
This program helps children in foster care not only prepare for college but supports them during their schooling and also in the working environment that follows. Our College Bound and Beyond Program at SOS Illinois has five main components – Academic Preparation, College Outreach, Application Support, Job Readiness, and Material/Technological Support – and is broken up into three tiers.
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
Tier III – SOS Illinois Alumni
- provides educational and training services to help young adults, ages 20 to 22, enter the workforce and pursue careers.
Our College Bound and Beyond Program wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our foundation partners and Dream Makers, and we are thankful for the incredible opportunities they have allowed us to provide our children in foster care.
To hear how this program is benefiting our youth, check out this interview with College Bound and Beyond Program participant, Rafael.
If you’d like to be a part of the wonderful possibilities for the children in our care at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, become a Dream Maker today.