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Empower

Arizona State University, ASU, #1Innovation

 

There is no doubt that youth in foster care, and those aging out of care need support, especially from well-trained mentors and supportive adults.

In Arizona, more than 600 children each year turn 18 years old and “age out” of the foster care system, often with few skills, fewer resources, and little adult guidance. Attaining a college education is as important to youth aging out of foster care as it is to their peers who were not in foster care, but there continues to be a wide gap in postsecondary educational attainment. The biggest hurdle they face is not having parents or other trusted adults to turn to for information about how to apply for and fund college, or to provide the emotional support needed to cope with the demands of college life. 

This is why new programs and educational tools like Empower are so critical for youth who are preparing to exit the foster care system AND the adults who support them. Empower is an innovative online training program developed through a partnership with Arizona State University (ASU) University College, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions at ASU, and ASU Center for Child Well-Being instructional design and development team, as well as through generous grant funding awarded by ASU Women in Philanthropy. 

For many foster youth having an adult in their life who supports them, provides guidance, and believes in their current and future potential is key to their future success. Supportive adults can be foster parents, family members, caregivers, case managers, school counselors, teachers, mentors, behavioral health providers, CASA’s (Court Appointed Special Advocates) or anyone else who has a supportive relationship with a youth who has experienced foster care.

The Empower online training program aims to equip these critical and compassionate adults with the skills, knowledge, and resources to empower youth aging out of foster care. The free curriculum includes information to help supportive adults better understand foster youth and their experiences, encourages open discussion and dialogue, provides guidance on how to become a positive and knowledgeable mentor throughout the college application process, and so much more! If you are or know of supportive adults working with foster youth, don’t wait and sign up today! This is your chance to help these remarkable youth to pursue post-secondary education and build the future they dream about.

FAQ

What is Empower?

Empower is an online training program for supportive adults who work with youth who have experienced foster care.

Who is considered a “supportive adult”?

Supportive adults can be foster parents, family members, caregivers, case managers, school counselors, teachers, mentors, behavioral health providers, CASA’s (Court Appointed Special Advocates) or anyone else who has a supportive relationship with a youth who has experienced foster care.

What is the goal of Empower?

The goal of Empower is to train and equip supportive adults with the skills and knowledge needed to empower foster youth to access and succeed in postsecondary education. 

What does the Empower training course consist of?

The Empower online training course organizes the important information, tools and resources needed to empower youth to pursue post-secondary education and build the future they dream about. The course:

  • Is free, self-paced, and interactive.
  • Provides steps for youth to prepare and apply to college.
  • Offers financial aid and scholarship tips.
  • Guides adults and youth through important learning activities.
  • Demonstrates students sharing experiences with supportive adults.
  • Includes resource guides and more!

How long is the course?

The course is divided into six modules. 

  • Module 1: Supporting Bright Educational Futures for Foster Youth
  • Module 2: Understanding Adolescent Development, Trauma, and Resilience
  • Module 3: One Meaningful Conversation Can Change a Life
  • Module 4: Personal Development and the Path(s) to College
  • Module 5: How to Be a Powerful Mentor in the College Application Process
  • Module 6: "Congratulations! You're Accepted"...Now What?

Each module will only take about 35 minutes of your time and is completely self-paced.