Mentor program helps youth in need

City College to offer program to aid foster youth in academic success

 

With an alarming statistic stating that roughly 3 percent of youths in foster care will be graduating once in college, the Public Mental Health Academy decided to launch the Foster Youth Mentor Program this semester at City College.

The program hopes to aid youths in foster care by providing resources in scholarships and a safe environment where they can do homework and spend time with counselors.
While the office is still in the process of being set-up, there are already four students taking part in the program. Though the age range of 18 to 22 is predominant, the program welcomes students of all ages.

Additionally, The peer counseling office will have computer access and printing at no cost.

Christyn Ford, founder of the program and peer mentor at the Public Mental Health Academy, started developing the program in the fall of 2011.  Ford has been reaching out and meeting with students to develop a better understanding of what the program should focus on the most.

Outside organizations, such as ACCESS, have partnered with the foster care program to promote it and inform clients about the support students need in college. This works to facilitate both programs to incorporate and allow more help to reach the students in need.

Scholarships are an important goal for the program; counselors will be giving resources to students on scholarships and will assist them in the application process, while also organizing fundraisers to create their own fund for students who are part of the program.

“We would like to have a fund of our own,” said Ford. “Sometimes scholarships take too long to reach our students, it would be ideal if we could provide them with financial-aid from our own funding.”

The peer support office will be located in A1G and office hours are still being planned.