How Resilience Plays A Role In Former Foster Youths' Educational Success

The purpose of this study was to expand knowledge of the lived experiences of current and former foster university students who had a goal of graduating with a four-year degree. This study explored how resilience played a role in current and former university foster youth students’ survival and educational success transitioning into and through the university environment. In addition, the also explored foster youth alumni’s lived experiences into, through, and out of the university environment. While the study explored the influence of social and academic resilience, other forms of resilience were discovered during the coding process. The two additional forms of resilience that emerged were emotional and individual resilience that also played a role in university foster youth student’s academic success as they navigated their university environment. The following research questions were the basis of the study and the interview questions were based upon these questions. 1.What are the experiences of former foster youth in higher education? 2. What obstacles do foster youth in college encounter (personally, academically, socially and institutionally) transitioning from high school into and through higher education? 3. What strategies have foster youth in college used to overcome adversity? 4.What supports have been important for them to be able to persevere in making the transition from high school and through higher education? The primary conclusions of the study were that public high schools did not prepare these former foster youth for the transition into college/university, finances were a constant worry for all former foster youth, and all eleven participants had a trusted adult they could turn to in times of need.