While tremendous efforts are made to recruit an adoptive family for each child in foster care in the region, more than 300 children age-out of the system each year at the age of 21. And more than 500 young people, 10- to 20-year-olds, are on the trajectory to age-out of foster care without a family to support them. Students who age-out of foster care are at risk of struggling financially throughout their lives. The national statistics are staggering:
- 1 in 4 become homeless
- Less than 48 percent work with any regularity
- 23 percent rely on public assistance
- 70 percent of youth in foster care express desire to attend college
- Only 10 percent enter college
- Only 3 percent graduate from college
The Trailblazer Project is a program of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments that aims to support youth who are striving to beat these odds by providing funding to students, who are in foster care or who will be exiting the system before they complete their education. The maximum amount of funding available to students is $500 per student per semester. Eligible students must be enrolled in or accepted in college or a vocational training program, and they must sufficiently document their need for financial support.
Through the Trailblazer Project, youth also receive opportunities such as care packages, access to pertinent workshops, and referrals to educational community events with the goal of expanding opportunities, creating lifelong connections, and increasing educational outcomes for the region’s most vulnerable youth.
You can support the Trailblazer Project through a tax-deductible charitable donation.