May 1 is National College Decision Day - the day when high school seniors throughout the country have to commit to a school for the fall semester. The decision is a challenging one, based not only on academics and cost but also on distance from home and from friends, environment, athletics and more. Seniors and their families have a lot to consider.
Seniors without family support have even more to consider. Imagine a soon-to-be or newly 18 year old preparing to graduate this June. If they are also preparing to age out of the foster care system, they must weigh where they will be able to live, how they will get to class, how they will afford tuition and all that comes with it largely on their own. If they delay college, returning to school as an adult learner, the pressures of Decision Day and the years that follow become even more complicated.
At the R.J. Leonard Foundation, we work to connect young adults aging out of the foster care system with mentors, as well as a network of support. We aim to give them the resources they need to help make huge choices a little less overwhelming and a lot more exciting, so that education and career are not just a dream but an attainable reality.