Foster Ed program to help those in foster care graduate

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - There are thousands of children in foster care across Arizona and studies show that more than half of them will not graduate high school.

A local nonprofit is announcing a new program called 'Foster Ed' to help lower that number.

This new program will help foster children focus and keep them on track when it comes to their education.  Right now there are 14,000 children in Arizona foster care, with 4,000 of them here in Pima County.  A recent study showed that 56 percent will graduate from high school, with 13 percent going on to college, where only three percent will get their degree.

This pilot program pairs a child with an 'education champion' or mentor that will follow the child wherever he or she may go through the education system.  The program started last week, but will not affect those already in foster care, instead it will apply to all new children as they enter the foster care system.

This new program was made possible by various partnerships around the community and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.

Program organizers hope to reach at least 900 children in foster care in the first two years of the program.  After that time officials will determine if the program is working and if it will continue.

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