Strong Futures
Forestdale is committed to successful futures for young people

Youth aging out of foster care need love, resources and reassurance.  About 50% end up homeless or in jail within 3 years. 66% of young women in foster care will give birth between their 18th and 22nd birthdays. Former foster children with no college degree earn less than $14,000 a year. Life outcomes for kids leaving foster care must improve. Forestdale commits to making this happen.  

Forestdale’s Strong Futures Program helps young people develop into successful adults. Using a youth-driven model, we provide financial literacy courses, workshops on healthy relationships, trips to cultural events, and educational pre-college and college supports. Through the program, teenagers and young parents receive relationship and sexual health counseling so they learn to make informed decisions regarding their bodies.

Forestdale knows that education is the pathway to a successful life. Forestdale Scholars (FS) provides academic support for youth in foster care (grades 5-12+), to ensure that our adolescents see high-school (H.S.) graduation as a top priority and college graduation as an attainable goal. FS emphasizes setting academic and behavioral foundations for college success and is still the foundational component of our Strong Futures/Youth Development programming. Because they have survived abuse or neglect, family separation, and instability, many of our young people need a full range of academic and emotional support to succeed and complete H.S. and move toward college graduation.  Our dedicated counselors  provide direct educational and college enrichment services to prepare youth for critical transition periods, such as high-school admissions and the college-application process, with individually customized assistance that respond to the individual needs of more than 100 youth, ages 12 to 21, annually including:

  • Educational group workshops including SAT & ACT prep,
  • Counseling,
  • One-on-one tutoring helps students improve their grades in Math, English, ESL (English as a second language), the Sciences, Economics, History, Social Studies, as well as their scores for the NYS Regents.
  • Brand new, fully stocked backpacks for more 700-750 grade, middle, and H.S. students annually
  • H.S. Equivalency (HSE) education/training (at our Forest Hills site)
  • College tours both in state and out of state at no charge for H.S. juniors & seniors,
  • College counseling for H.S. seniors including help filing for financial aid
  • Financial/material assistance for college students including books, laptops, and meal plans and more.

We also continue to provide our Scholars with several levels of ancillary supports including: workshops (financial literacy, career prep/employment), recreational activities & cultural trips (in partnership with Culture for One), one-on-one guidance and referral to additional Forestdale programs (i.e. Life Coaching, Strong Futures Paid Internship(SFI), Strong Futures Pregnancy Prevention, Evidence-based Mental Health interventions, Career Counseling, and Medical & Dental care), and Entitlement assistance, to ensure a robust, holistic, and worthwhile program experience.

As a result of all of these efforts, in FY 2018, approximately 26 of our youth are attending college, twice the number compared with just a few years ago.

Forestdale ensures that young people are financially empowered, by providing individually tailored approaches to assess job readiness, sharpen interview skills, and find career-track employment.

Working with our partners at High Water Women, TD Charitable Foundation, and Ridgewood Savings Bank, we coach our clients on financial planning, goal setting, and debt reduction.

For more information contact Danielle Brown Fuller at dfuller@forestdaleinc.org.

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