Luckily in the state of Ohio, foster youth in the Franklin County child welfare system have a wide variety of opportunities that they can take advantage of. At the age of 15 we are asked to participate in a serious of life skills courses, at the age of 17 you are allowed the chance to apply for an independent living apartment. This is an apartment that is offered to mostly the youth that qualify. It is pretty much an apartment that is paid for each month by the system as long as you show proof of employment and consistent money saving. My brother participated in the program and learned many skills that he still uses today and teaches me here and there. In Columbus we also have a large variety of scholarships that you can apply for when considering and preparing for college. I received the largest scholarship offered by my agency, the Jack Donahue scholarship. This scholarship grants me 4,000 a semester for a total of 16,000 in a consecutive 4 years. We also have smaller scholarships that are extremely helpful. One of them is the I Know I Can grant, now this isn't specifically for foster youth but in my county it's highly advised that college bound and current collegiate students apply for it. Another foundation that offers scholarships that I am fortunate to have one from is Ohio Reach. They offer 1,500 a school year for former foster youth attending college.
As a Forster youth, nation wide, you have the right to an education training voucher (ETV). This is money that is solely used for college and expenses during your pursuit of higher education. My ETV coordinator is Colleen Gibbons-Brown, she is a wonderful women that takes pride in her job and does her best to help me out when planning for my expenses, classes, and many other things each year. Once you apply and are accepted for your ETV you will also get a wonderful coordinator. I hope this blog can encourage you to look into what your state offers so that you can do the best that you can in college.
Sincerely, Joshua B. Hatch AKA Cool Kid
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