ISSAQUAH, Wash., June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thirty three foster youth across the state will be honored by former Washington State Governor Gary Locke as recipients of the Washington State Governors' Scholarship for Foster Youth on Monday, June 27 at Pacific Tower in Seattle, Wash. The awards ceremony begins at 1 p.m. in the Pacific Tower Panoramic Center, with a reception following at 2 p.m.
Former Governor Gary Locke established the Governors' Scholarship for Foster Youth in 2001 to recognize the long, often difficult journey that foster youth take to higher education. Research shows that while 84% of all foster youth nationally want to go to college, only 20% are able to do so. And, ultimately, only 2-9% of former foster youth earn a bachelor's degree.
The Governors' Scholarship helps young men and women from foster care continue their education and earn a college degree. Since 2001, approximately 460 students have received scholarships. The scholarship program is funded primarily by private donations from the annual Governors' Cup Golf Tournament, also created in 2001 by former Governor Locke. To date, the tournament has raised over 7 million dollars.
In addition to Governor Jay Inslee and former Governor Locke, the Governors' Scholarship for Foster Youth is championed by previous governors Chris Gregoire, Mike Lowry, John Spellman, and Dan Evans. It was also supported by governors Booth Gardner and Albert Rosellini during their lifetimes.
Following the award ceremony, Governors' Scholars will attend Make It Happen! – a unique college experience for foster youth sponsored annually by the College Success Foundation. Student participants will join other foster youth at the University of Puget Sound for a 4-day, 3-night on-campus experience. Students will get a taste of college life, including living and eating on campus, attending classes, and discovering tools for success, as they transition into the next phase of their lives and education.
"The path to college can be demanding for any student, but foster youth face additional challenges reaching that goal without support," said Governor Jay Inslee. "Opportunities like the Governors' Scholarship for Foster Youth and Make It Happen! help more foster youth achieve greater higher education success."
Students can use their Governors' Scholarship awards for up to five years to complete a bachelor's degree at an eligible college or university located in Washington state. To qualify for the Governors' Scholarship, applicants must be a dependent of the court, enrolled in a Washington state high school as a senior and scheduled for graduation. In addition, they must have lived in the state for at least three academic years and have a cumulative high school grade point average of 2.0.
About the College Success Foundation
The College Success Foundation (CSF) provides a unique integrated system of supports and scholarships to inspire underserved, low-income students to finish high school, graduate from college and succeed in life. CSF is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization headquartered in Issaquah, Wash, and serving students in Washington state and Washington D.C.
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SOURCE The College Success Foundation