June is a wonderful season of celebration at SOS Illinois, and we couldn’t be more proud of our 2019 high school graduates. Every year, over 1.2 million students in the United States drop out of high school. For the youth in our care, we are thrilled to know that they are part of an incredible and commendable graduation rate of 100%.
Paving the Way for Educational Success for Children in Foster Care
One of our top priorities is to ensure the educational success for every child that comes through our doors. Harvesting an appreciation for hard work, dedication and determination is just one of the many ways our Foster Parents, Child Welfare Specialists, and community members nurture the desire for the children in our care to achieve their goals around school and beyond.
At SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, our focus on education doesn’t just begin and end with high school graduation. It goes far beyond that in ways that provide our youth with bright futures full of possibilities, and it’s all made possible by our College Bound and Beyond Program.
College Bound and Beyond Program Begins with Early Leaders
In order to assist children in foster care with not only the successful completion of high school but also the ability to move on to post-secondary education and then entering the workforce, our College Bound and Beyond Program begins with children ages 12 to 16, also known as our Early Leaders.
College Bound and Beyond Program, Tier I: Early Leaders
The first tier in our program is centered around the essential STEM curricula featuring science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This particular curricula acts as an interdisciplinary approach to help engage children and assist them in building skills in critical and creative thinking and problem solving. STEM curricula serves as a solid foundation for future career opportunities for our youth at SOS Illinois.
College Bound Youth at SOS Illinois Get a Leg Up in Preparation
While the STEM curricula for our Early Leaders assists in creating more opportunities for the youth in our care, when they reach the ages of 16 to 19, the focus of our College Bound and Beyond Program extends to preparation.
College Bound and Beyond Program, Tier II: College Bound
For high schoolers looking towards graduation, there are many things to consider and prepare for. Our second tier of the program is geared around awareness and preparation. From assisting them with test preparation to encouraging them in attending tours of prospective colleges, the team at SOS Illinois focuses on providing our youth with the best opportunities for success.
Children in Foster Care Receive Support Far Beyond High School Graduation
At SOS Children’s Village Illinois, our love and support of every single one of our youth extends far beyond their high school graduation. In fact, because of our College Bound and Beyond Program, we’re able to provide additional services to SOS Illinois Alumni ages 20 to 22.
College Bound and Beyond Program, Tier III: SOS Illinois Alumni
Every child that enters our doors immediately becomes family. Their successes, their struggles, and their personal achievements are all felt, supported, and celebrated throughout the communities at each of our Villages. That’s why our third tier has such a lasting impact for not only the staff at SOS Illinois but also our Alumni. This third tier of the program provides educational and training services to support our young adults in entering the workforce to pursue careers.
Providing Youth the Support They Need to Reach Their Full Potential
The overarching goal of our College Bound and Beyond program is to provide complete support through every level of learning for the youth in our care. This includes post-college support. At SOS Illinois, we want every young person to realize their full potential and know that they are capable and deserving of incredible futures full of hope.
Every year we look for ways we can improve our College Bound and Beyond Program, and we couldn’t do it without the wonderful generosity of our donors. If you’d like to contribute to the successes of the children in our care now and far into their futures, there’s no easier way than by becoming a Dream Maker. Learn more about becoming a Dream Maker today.