FSU, MassBay Team Up to Help Foster Youth Pursue A College Education

FSU, MassBay Team Up to Help Foster Youth Pursue A College Education

Mar 11, 2016

Framingham State University and MassBay Community College are pleased to announce they are collaborating partners with Wayside Youth & Family Support Network’s Estrella Program to assist in improving college success rates for foster youth who are aging out of the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Wayside’s College Support Program, Estrella, is named after the Spanish word for star and was created to address the social, academic, and community support that is needed for foster care youth who are pursuing a college education.

"This program seeks to assist some of the most vulnerable youth in the Commonwealth and set them on a path to gain entry to college and ultimately graduate,” says Framingham State President F. Javier Cevallos. “We are proud to partner with Wayside Youth and Family Support Network and MassBay Community College on this important initiative."

“As public colleges, we have a moral obligation to help our most vulnerable population of students reach their highest intellectual potential so that they can advance society,” said MassBay Interim President Yves Salomon-Fernandez. “This is about mission and Wayside has a strong record of achievement working with youth. We’re delighted to partner with them.”

Research conducted by The Child Welfare League of America reports that foster youth who are aging out of the child welfare system are significantly affected by the instability that accompanies long periods of out-of-home placement during childhood and adolescence; and often find themselves ‘truly on their own’ with few financial resources, possibly no place to live and little support from family, friends, and community. Furthermore, although many foster youth have a desire to continue their education, only a small percentage who start college actually graduate.

"We are delighted to launch this new partnership with MassBay and Framingham State University to support the educational goals of youth aging out of foster care,” said Wayside Youth and Family Support Network President and CEO Eric Masi. “This programs expands Wayside's commitment to provide resources and supports vulnerable young people."

This new initiative helps guide the youth through the college process and works as a support system to ensure students have the resources they need to be successful. The Estrella program also collaborates with The MetroWest College Planning Center and Tempo Young Adult Resource Center.

For more information on Wayside Youth and Family Support Network; http://www.waysideyouth.org.

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.