Hilton Foundation Awards $2.5 Million for Foster Youth Program

The City University of New York has announced a four-year, $2.5 million grant from the Conrad H. Hilton Foundation in support of CUNY Start, which helps young people with remedial needs who are aging out of foster care and want to pursue an associate degree.

According to CUNY, just 2 percent to 7 percent of foster youth complete a two- or four-year degree. The grant will enable the program to establish strategic partnerships with foster care agencies and the New York City Administration for Children's Services aimed at helping three hundred and twenty-five transition-age youth advance through the CUNY Start and Accelerated Study in Associate Programs. CUNY Start, which provides intensive preparation in reading/writing, math, and other skills necessary for college success, enrolls prospective students who have been accepted to college but are not quite ready for college-level work.

The grant also will enable CUNY Start to establish a comprehensive college success program that features coaching from an individual adviser knowledgeable in both foster care issues and college navigation; tutoring and academic assistance; increased coordination between child welfare and higher education systems; and internships, career opportunities, and counseling.

"We're very pleased to partner with CUNY Start to provide these young people transitioning out of foster care with similar educational opportunities to their peers," said Hilton Foundation chair, president, and CEO Steven M. Hilton. "This program allows CUNY an opportunity to engage foster youth during the time they need it most, as young adults seeking to become productive members of our society."

"CUNY Start Awarded $2.5 Million Grant by Conrad N. Hilton Foundation." City University of New York Press Release 04/15/2015.