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Academic and Emotional Support for Students Who Have Lived in Foster Care


Only 5% of youth who age out of foster care will earn an associate's degree. Only 3% will earn a bachelor's degree.

​When youth age out of foster care, there are significant challenges. They are often on their own, lacking family support for their journey. Many students work to support themselves, and if they attend college, they are living paycheck to paycheck and have excessive financial pressure. The added financial stress to maintain college housing can add significant pressure to these youth in college.

Many youth will fall behind in their academics and lose hope without a caring and consistent adult to encourage goal-setting and planning for next steps after high school.

How Aspire Works

Aspire encourages youth to graduate from high school and then attend and excel in college by providing accountability and support throughout their academic experience.

Through consistent meetings with our Education Advocate and peer gatherings focused on team-building, youth begin to visualize a future for themselves. They graduate from high school, apply to college programs, and find their own pathway to success.

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The Impact of Aspire:

  • Jolli (Age 21)
    When you know someone that cares, you do better in school and better in work. If you don't have that, it’s hard to have drive or be motivated. You think, “What’s the point in even trying?”
    Jolli (Age 21)
    foster youth
  • Celeste

    I never would have felt empowered enough to do what I have doing in my life now without Aspire.

    former foster youth

Refer someone you know who can benefit from Aspire.

Anyone can complete a referral for Aspire.

This includes youth, foster parents, group home staff, case workers, CASA/GALs, mentors, family members, and friends. Once a referral is received, our team will reach out to you, the youth, and the youth’s case worker.


Academic and Emotional Support

For Youth in Foster Care Who Want to Attend College

  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
  • Monthly group outings
  • Help with college applications
  • Financial guidance on navigating scholarship
  • Professional coaching
  • College Bound Summer Enrichment Camp

Service Areas

  • Columbia, SC
  • Greenville, SC
  • Spartanburg, SC

Have more questions about Aspire?

Fill out the form below to talk with a member of our team about how you can get involved with this Great Idea.

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