First Star, Inc.
First Star partners with universities throughout the country to make a long-term investment in foster youth and change the course of their lives, from abuse and neglect to academic achievement and self-sufficiency. The Academies are the country’s only long-term programs exclusively for high school foster youth that include both four immersive residential summers on a university campus, and monthly sessions during each school year. During the residential sessions, the youth are not only supported by highly qualified professionals, but also by peer mentors who are former foster youth attending the host university. Throughout all four years, Academy staff provides holistic, long-term case management to the youth and their families to sustain the progress youth make during the university-immersion sessions. First Star shows foster youth that they belong on a college campus, and helps them get there. The university becomes a second home that inspires and enables them.
First Star Academies currently exist in California, New York, New Jersey, Utah, Arizona, Florida, Connecticut, Illinois, Washington, DC, and in the United Kingdom. The First Star Academies have significantly improved the outcomes of participating youth across the United States. 100% of Academy youth graduate high school, and more than 90% enroll in higher education, compared with national averages of 50% and 10%, respectively.