The Celebration of Excellence program, which provides scholarships to foster teens bound for college or vocational school, has opened its application process for the 2008 program year.
Sponsored by the Department of Family and Children Services and a coalition of public and private community partners, the program is expected to award tens of thousands of dollars in college scholarships to foster teens this summer at the annual Celebration of Excellence event, where foster teens statewide are recognized for their academic achievements.
Scholarship winners can receive up to $4,000 for undergraduate education and up to $3,000 for two years of graduate education. Winners will be chosen on academic achievement, financial need and personal essays. The application deadline is April 23. The scholarship is open to all foster teens who anticipate graduating from high school or a GED program this school year, or who have already graduated and are continuing on to a college.
Studies show that more than 50 percent of foster youth don’t finish high school and less than 3 percent earn college degrees.
“Most of these children are up against insurmountable odds throughout their young lives but more and more we’re seeing them persevere and put a premium on education,” said Mary Dean Harvey, director of DFCS.
For more information on the Celebration of Excellence event and the application process, or to download an application, visit www.celebrationofexcellence.org or call (770) 601-3593.
Last year’s Celebration of Excellence awarded more than $86,000 in scholarships to 22 students and recognized nearly 400 foster youth who either graduated from college, vocational school, high school or a GED program.