Who We Serve
Educate Tomorrow is making a push to try to create awareness and support for students that may be eligible for the college tuition waiver under the "custody of a relative" status as well as "apopted from DCF" or "Homeless". As you know traditionally the population we have served has been transitioning foster youth, though we have always made exceptions. With your help we want to expand the parameters.
In 2011 the tuition waiver for those in the custody of a relative was only used 153 times statewide vs. 1,434 foster youth who aged out and 424 for those adopted from DCF. Those numbers should not be that far apart and the word needs to get out about this huge educational opportunity.
Custody of a relative (s. 1009.25(1)(d), F.S.)
1009.25 Fee exemptions.—
(c) A student who is or was at the time he or she reached 18 years of age in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services or who, after spending at least 6 months in the custody of the department after reaching 16 years of age, was placed in a guardianship by the court. Such exemption includes fees associated with enrollment in career-preparatory instruction. The exemption remains valid until the student reaches 28 years of age.
(d) A student who is or was at the time he or she reached 18 years of age in the custody of a relative under s. 39.5085 or who was adopted from the Department of Children and Family Services after May 5, 1997. Such exemption includes fees associated with enrollment in career-preparatory instruction. The exemption remains valid until the student reaches 28 years of age.
In 2009, 1,475 young adults aged out of foster care in Florida. Based on recent statistics, less than 50% will earn a high school diploma before they turn 22, more than half will experience homelessness and only 30% will be gainfully employed. Currently more than 90% of our 132 active participants are enrolled in school or gainfully employed. Nationally less than 3% of former foster youth ever obtain a college degree. There are currently 88 Educate Tomorrow participants who are now over 23 years old. Of those, 44% have a college degree or certification and 94% have their high school diploma or GED.