The first day of college can be overwhelming. Moving into a dorm, being surrounded by thousands of new people, and having to get settled in a new environment is a lot for anyone. This upcoming fall semester, over 4,000 former foster youth will head to college, and in partnership with Make Good, Ready to Succeed launches their Project Dorm Room initiative that helps new students with background in the foster care system move into their dorms.
Since 2017 the non-profit organization has helped to provide dorm room essentials for Los Angeles-based foster youth, as well as pairing them up with a Ready to Succeed staff member to help them move in and set up their space. Ensuring that they aren’t alone on this big day helps kickstart their college experience and help them feel comfortable faster.
“I grew up not having stable resources, not even a bed,” said Holdyn Bray, RTS scholar. “Foster youth are not used to asking for help. We have built a barrier to be ‘strong and resilient’ on our own. RTS provided me with a sense of community that I had never experienced. I felt seen for the first time.”
Los Angeles is home to the largest foster youth population in the country, with 10% of foster youth enrolling into college and 4% of them graduating with a four-year degree by age 26. This year, Ready to Succeed sets their largest goal yet to raise $300,000 which will support to over 250 students. The organization has even initiated their first out-of-state partnership with Arizona State University.