Board President, Vimal
Dear Friends and family,
We had another exciting year in which the Power to Soar Foundation was able to expand our partnership with the Sonoma State Seawolve’s Program and launch a collaboration with the Sacramento State Guardian Program. This allowed us to increase the number of Power to Soar Foundation’s scholars from 4 in 2016 to 17 in 2017. That represents a 425% increase along with increased support for the critical needs of foster youth in these programs.
Your generous donations last year made all this possible. Please accept a heartfelt thank you from me and the entire Board.
Your generous donations also enabled us to provide school start packs to 170 foster youth in the two programs mentioned above. We have received numerous emails and postcards from foster youth thanking us for the support.
I want to share what our scholarship recipients say:
“I am so thankful to be chosen for the scholarship. My educational experience has been up and down. However, my support system has propelled me towards my goals, and I am so thankful for Power to Soar for the support. Success is the joy I feel when I accomplish something that challenged me; also, it is accomplishing a dream. Having my Bachelor’s degree is a dream, I have worked hard to achieve and I cannot wait to walk across the stage in December 2017.” Malaysia R., Sacramento State student
“Being a recipient allowed me to pay for unexpected living expenses. It also gave me the opportunity to meet the amazing people who fund the scholarship.I’ve been in school longer then I thought I would be. At times, it discouraged me because I watched as my friends graduated and started their careers while I was still trying to get through school. What I would like to share with potential students is to embrace your educational journey. Even if it seems like a long experience and it may not be like other students, it’s yours. Take the time you need, so that when you graduate you can be the type of successful you want to be.” Deirdre H., Sacramento State student
“Support provided by the Power to Soar Foundation means everything to a current or former foster youth attending college. By providing much-needed scholarships, students can focus on the important things such as studying and their homework rather than where their next meal is coming from. I have seen first-hand the hardships faced by foster youth struggling to pay for their basic needs while in school. Lack of support from family and a challenging start to life are areas of focus for Power to Soar to instill real change. Financial support for foster youth through scholarships is only the beginning of the support that foster youth will receive from the Power to Soar Foundation. This is an organization with a heart of gold and a passion to create lasting social change for this underrepresented population.” Danielle Hansen, Program Coordinator, Sonoma State
Again, donors like you made this possible. Thank you.
Although, together we made progress, the goal remains high to ensure that foster youth complete four-year college degrees.
- Of the approximately 400,000 children and youth in foster care, nearly 270,000 children in foster care are school-aged.
- 24% of foster youth struggle with disabilities while in school.
- Across the United States, 52% of foster youth attend schools that rank in the lowest 30 percent. Only 50% will receive a high school diploma. Only 10% of former foster youth will attend college and, of that 10%, only 3% will graduate.
Foster youth continue to have disparate postsecondary degree attainment in comparison to their non-foster peers. To date, only 28 states have some sort of financial aid programs specifically targeted for foster youth – 20 states with a tuition waiver program and eight states with a scholarship or grant program. The differences between programs illustrates the broad range of understanding and intentionality between states in addressing this issue.
Together we can change these numbers. Our foster youth deserve better.
In fact, we are changing things.
California had limited tuition assistance for foster youth until Senate Bill 12 was signed into law, last month, by Governor Brown. Power To Soar proudly advocated for SB12, joining 119 other organizations and 350 foster youth who supported this bill authored by California State Senator Jim Beall. The measure will go into effect on January 1, 2018 and will increase access to the federal Pell Grant. Aid up to $5,920 will be available to foster youth students enrolled in post-secondary education.
Our 2nd annual fall donation campaign goal is $25,000. Donations will support these priority areas:
- Continue to increase the number of PSF grants awarded and critical need support
- Develop additional collaborations with other Foster youth programs at universities
- Support legislative action to increase state support for tuition waiver/reduction
Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the devastating wildfires in Northern California. Sonoma State University students were impacted in many ways.
We’ve increased our fall campaign fundraising goal to $25,000, so the additional $5,000 will be dedicated to an emergency fund for foster youthwho suffered losses due to the fires.
Please make your donation today to the Power to Soar Foundation’s fall campaign, in any amount. All donations are important and will be tax deductible.
On behalf of the entire Board, I want to stress our commitment to continue to effectively utilize your donations to directly support foster youth education and critical needs.
Thank you again,