A Georgia-based organization focused on supporting children and families in need is donating $17,500 to help the University of Georgia increase college access and retention for youth who have experienced foster care or homelessness.

The donation from the nonprofit Communities 4 Children (C4C) will go to Embark Georgia, founded and run by UGA’s J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development.

Embark Georgia is a statewide leadership network of higher education, K-12 and child welfare professionals who provide leadership and support for youth who have experienced foster care or homelessness, and are enrolled in or interested in attending a postsecondary educational institution in Georgia.

“Communities 4 Children is proud to support the work at Embark Georgia,” said Carla S. Rogg, C4C board president. “As an organization that promotes the growth and achievement of vulnerable children and youth, C4C is conscious of the critical role that emergency resources and support networks can play in providing opportunities for success for youth who have experienced foster care.”

Embark Georgia will use the money to help students at University System of Georgia (USG) and Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) institutions, who have experienced foster care or homelessness pay for medical care, transportation, housing or food. The money also will be used to provide additional training to employees on USG and TCSG campuses who serve as designated points of contact for students and build regional coalitions to support students in high school as they consider higher education and begin the application and enrollment process.

Providing support for youth who have experienced foster care or homelessness throughout their educational careers is key to their success, said David Meyers and Lori Tiller, Fanning Institute faculty members and Embark Georgia network directors.

“This funding will allow Embark Georgia to both directly address students’ needs and expand the infrastructure that will help these students reach their educational goals,“ Meyers said. “We appreciate Communities 4 Children’s commitment to helping these young people pursue and achieve those goals.”

Since its establishment in 2012, Embark Georgia has established a designated point of contact for students at every USG and TCSG institution. Georgia is the first state to do this for both foster and homeless youth.

For more information on Embark Georgia, go to www.embarkgeorgia.org.

Writer: Charlie Bauder, charlie.bauder@fanning.uga.edu, 706-542-7039
Contact: David Meyers, dmeyers@fanning.uga.edu, 706-542-5062