Scholarship Enables Former Foster Care Youth to Graduate from CU

Realities for Children Boulder County Celebrates First College Graduate
One of the organization’s first scholarship recipients Jayneanne Finch graduates this week from CU

Local nonprofit agency, Realities for Children Boulder County (RFCBC), is celebrating the college graduation of one of its first scholarship recipients, Jayneanne Finch. RFCBC awards scholarships to youth who have been in foster or kinship care and many of whom have survived abuse and neglect.

Finch was attending Front Range Community College thanks to a previous scholarship provided by RFCBC. After partnering with the CU Guardian Scholars Program and a corporate sponsor, Bhakti Chai, RFCBC was able to provide a more extensive scholarship to Finch which covered tuition, boarding and other expenses at the University of Colorado. Finch transferred to CU her Junior year and graduates on May 12th with a degree in sociology. According to Foster Care 2 Success, less than 10% of former foster care youth graduate from college.

Finch benefited from additional services provided by the CU Guardians Scholars Program, which offers comprehensive and holistic student support services designed to nurture the academic success and professional development of students who have experienced foster care. The program also addresses the unique personal and financial challenges former foster care recipients may face while pursuing their undergraduate degrees at CU Boulder.

Finch graduates with a part-time job with the Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center. Finch has been an inspiration to the professionals she has worked with and the youth she has supported along the way. The summer after her junior year, she completed an internship with the youth of I Have A Dream Foundation Boulder County and worked as a Peer Art Coordinator for Boulder County Housing and Human Services.

Finch’s Chafee Worker, Amanda Macaluso shares her thoughts on Finch’s accomplishments, "Jayneanne has been an amazing inspiration. There was never a time when she wasn't working at least two jobs, pushing through her classes and taking care of own life. She refused to be held by typical expectations-and insisted on breaking every mold she was put into. She is devoted to her grandmother and always looking for a way to contribute to her community and youth in the foster care system."

Supporters of Finch will gather at her graduation celebration hosted by Bhakti Chai on May 12, 2017.

(We Thank Boulder County's Youth In Transition newsletter team for supplying material for this article)

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