Education+: Advocacy and Support for Kids

The Education+ Program

The Education+ Program is already off to a great start! After only three weeks into the new school year, the support component of the program already has 250 students and counting.

Last school year, the Foundation partnered with Community Based Care of Central Florida, Inc. to expand the support component of the Education+ Program. Through this partnership, all tutoring for children in foster care living and or case-managed out of Seminole, Orange and Osceola counties are coordinated by the Education+ Program team! Moreover, students receive quality, consistent, and effective academic guidance. The Education+ Program team not only coordinates and manages each student’s private one-on-one tutoring but also:

  • Provides ongoing individualized assessments of each child’s educational needs in order to promote a better understanding among caregivers — including case managers, foster parents, tutors, teachers and schools
  • Tracks and analyzes qualitative and quantitative data in order to communicate educational needs to all caregivers and to provide tangible care to students
  • Measures the student’s self-esteem and motivation before, during, and at the completion of the program; analyzes data synthesized from student report cards, and grade promotion; and conducts pre- and post- educational assessments in order to assess outcomes
  • Rewards educational success with incentives and encourages students who are struggling with motivational notes

Education+ Pilot Program

In addition to our expanded support component, we are excited about the launch of our, Education+ Advocacy Pilot. This advocacy component provides student-center education planning, coaching, and support services through an education advocate. This advocate works one on one with high school youth struggling academically. 15 high school students have been selected to participate in the pilot year of this research-based advocacy program:

  • Builds a healthy rapport and works with youth weekly to set and achieve their own goals through their Student Centered Plan;
  • Monitors daily attendance, behavior and course performance;
  • Provides timely and individualized interventions;
  • Builds youth’s problem-solving and self-advocacy skills;
  • Promotes student’s emotional awareness and supports them in academic endeavors;
  • Connects to resources such as tutoring, credit retrieval, and college and career preparation including job shadowing opportunities,
  • Builds and supports the team for each youth including caregivers, social workers, school teachers, and counselors;
  • Resolves education barriers specific to foster youth:  school transitions, special education needs, disciplinary actions, and credit retrieval.

This will surely be an exciting school year for the Education+ Program. Last school year, the Education+ Program saw a 257% increase in request processed and a 242% increase in students served. The expansion of the program’s support component and the addition of intensive advocacy is promising. We are committed to decreasing the academic gap among foster children and improving academic performance and advancement from one grade to the next.

Raquel Tapia, MPA, MNM Education Program Manager
Raquel Tapia, MPA, MNM
Education Program Manager
Lee Bennett, CWCM Education Advocate
Lee Bennett, CWCM
Education Advocate
Kristine Persaud
Program Specialist