Foster youth post-secondary education success

For some foster youth, pursuing post-secondary education becomes the pathway to a better life. While many foster youth face challenges on their academic journey and may lack the supports needed to excel academically, many push through their challenges to succeed. The purpose of this research study was to investigate foster youth’s supportive factors during their pursuit of post-secondary education. This research study is a cross-sectional qualitative study consisting of in-person interviews and received participation from 7 students who were in the Guardian Scholars Program at California State University, Sacramento. This study found that former foster youth attributed their success in higher education to supportive people, financial support, programs, being perseverance and success driven, and their intrinsic motivation. This study also found that foster youth experienced challenges while on their academic journey, provided recommendations to ensure success amongst foster youth, and provided advice to foster youth who are currently interested in higher education. This research study has implications for understanding the supportive factors that have contributed to foster youth’s educational success in order to implement more of these factors at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.