For the children and teens at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, working on schooling while social distancing hasn’t stopped academic achievements from taking place. This year, we are proud to boast the success of a talented, hardworking, and strong group of graduates, including a 100% high school graduation rate. We are proud to team up with our corporate partners to honor our graduates and celebrate the accomplishments each one has made throughout the year. Looking to help us celebrate? You can submit your own message to our graduates and spread hope throughout this unprecedented summer.
Why Education Matters for Children in Foster Care
For children in foster care, having consistent access to a fulfilling education is often difficult, as youth in traditional foster care often change placements (and therefore schools), frequently. Frequent disruptions in education of this kind often lead to children in foster care falling behind academically, missing out on crucial development, not receiving specialized services available to children with individual education needs, and more. As a result, less than 50% of all high schoolers in traditional foster care graduate, creating life-long obstacles for careers and financial stability. This means that around a quarter of all adults formerly in care experience homelessness and income scarcity, and only 3% go onto receive a college degree.
At SOS Illinois, we believe that education holds the key to a different kind of future; a future rooted in success. That’s why our Village Model of Care includes a focus on education, where full-time professional Foster Parents work alongside Village staff and school personnel to ensure that the academic needs of each child and teen in our care are fulfilled.
For our teen learners, our College Bound and Beyond program preps our high school students for the challenges of college (whether a 2-year or 4-year program), or entry into the career force. This program, supported by corporate partners, allows interactive career readiness training and educational workshops geared towards helping to create a successful future once our young adults leave SOS Illinois. As a result of these types of programs, we are proud to celebrate a 100% high school graduation rate, including four graduating high school seniors in 2020, for the fifteenth year in a row!
Celebrating our 2020 Graduates
Annually, we gather together our three Villages alongside special friends and supporters for a day-long celebration of our graduates, including a special recognition ceremony. As we are currently exercising social distancing guidelines as mandated by the State of Illinois, our graduation celebration looks a bit different this year, but contains just as much heart!
This year, we will be celebrating our graduates with special Zoom celebrations, recognition videos, gifts, and more. We cannot wait to post updates about these celebrations on our blog!
Submit a Congratulations Message to our 2020 Graduates!
For the children and teens at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, hearing from our supporters is always encouraging and shows that people near and far are cheering for them to succeed. Want to submit your own message of congratulations to our graduates? You can do so by filling out this form and offering words of wisdom, hope, encouragement, praise, and more! Messages will be shared on our social media accounts throughout the summer and sent along to our children and families.