Low Number of Foster Kids Go To College in Luzerne County

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NANTICOKE  -- Officials at Luzerne County Community College say they were stunned to find out that only five percent of foster kids in the county go to college. Now they are on a mission to change that.

Attending college is rite of passage many teens looks forward to, but in Luzerne County is something only five percent of foster kids actually get to do.

"Growing up in foster care system, it`s not so easy. You are living more for the now and trying to get through now. And trying to get through high school," said Sonya Price of Hazleton.

Price was a foster kid who defied the odds and went to college. She is among some who understand why it's so difficult for foster kids in Luzerne County to go to college.

"I  think personally, because they don't have enough support and enough information. They don't think they can do it financially." said Jennifer Goodrich of Hazleton.

The president of Luzerne County Community College recently met with older foster kids like Sonya and Jennifer, after hearing the shocking statistic.

"The information really shocked me, because I didn't realize there was such a disconnect with young people aging out of the foster care system," said Thomas Leary, president at Luzerne County Community College

LCCC plans on developing a formal mentoring program, to help local foster kids age out of the system and into the classroom.

"We just learned about it and it's in its inception over the next month, we are going to continue to go out and speak to these young people who are transitioning out of foster care." Leary added.

LCCC is partnering with Brandon's Forever Home, a not-for-profit that helps foster kids. Together they plan on meeting with more foster kids and build the program.

 

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