To address the needs of students coming from former foster care and/or homeless backgrounds, FIU has launched an initiative to offer appropriate and customized services that will provide these students with opportunities to succeed academically and graduate in good standing from a top-tier public research university. Nearly one third of former foster care and homeless youth attending FIU are on academic probation with GPAs less than 2.0.
The struggles of these students reflect the nationwide challenges this particular population faces. These students lack a support system to effectively achieve their goals. They lack knowledge of how to navigate the higher education system and to finance their studies, struggle to support themselves with food and shelter, and often suffer from severe mental and emotional challenges as a result of childhood trauma.
Fostering Panther Pride will leverage the expertise and resources of community-based organizations such as the Miami Coalition for the Homeless, Educate Tomorrow, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Voices for Children, Chad Moss Construction and HANDY (Helping Abused Neglected and Disadvantaged Youth) to better serve the needs of these students and together create a strong residual impact on our youth.
Through generous contributions from Educate Tomorrow, the Miami Coalition for the Homeless, The Miami Foundation, Voices for Children, Chad Moss Construction, HANDY, Inc., FIU’s Office of The Provost and Vice Provost Steven V. Moll, FIU has hired a full-time college coach who will further develop and manage the several components of this initiative.
Ana Ramos, MSW, RCSWI
Office of Student Access and Success