The Wily Network
Founded in late 2014, The Wily Network is committed to ensuring successful college experiences for youth who have experienced foster care, or for other reasons have no family to support them, while they attend college. We are currently working with ten Boston-area students and plan to at least double the number of Wily Network Scholars for the next academic year. We provide services in each student’s college community, including individual weekly on-campus coaching; group programming; supplementary financial assistance and financial literacy education; on-call support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year; and assistance securing affordable year-round housing.
One can imagine that a student entering college without family support will need to overcome challenges that most students never have to think about. Where will I live between semesters? Will I have enough money from financial aid to afford food, a winter coat, a pair of snow boots, or an outfit to wear to a job interview? Where am I going to live next summer? By itself, a rigorous academic program creates stresses. To wrestle with uncertainty about the basics of daily living on top of those stresses can be overwhelming. By the age of 26, only 3 percent of foster-care alumni will have graduated from college.
The Wily Network was created to change this statistic. Our mission is twofold:
- ● To ensure that college students who lack permanent homes and families have the
- tools and networks of support necessary to thrive in four-year residential programs.
- ● To empower these Wily Scholars to transition successfully into post-college life and
- become vibrant members of their communities.
- Over the next four years, the Wily Network will build relationships with additional local colleges with the goal of serving 15 students at each of five universities. We will serve at least 50 Boston-area students by 2021.
- Student success is our primary objective. We define success in terms of (1) GPAs at or above the minimum school requirement for re-enrollment, (2) genuine relationships with coaches and Wily peers, (3) participation in at least one campus activity, (4) secure year-round housing.