Optimist Youth Homes & Family Services receives $270,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education, at the request of Rep. Mike Garcia (CA-27) (L to R: Todd Sosna, Ph.D., CEO of Optimist Youth Homes & Family Services; Rep. Mike Garcia)

Rep. Mike Garcia Requests U.S. Department of Education Funding To Provide Educational Services for Foster Youth in Antelope Valley

LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, November 9, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — Optimist Youth Homes & Family Services today announced receiving $270,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education, at the request of Rep. Mike Garcia (CA-27). The funds will provide a program expansion of specialized educational advocacy and tutoring services for children in the Antelope Valley foster care system.

“I’m so proud to have secured this funding for our community,” said Congressman Mike Garcia. “Foster youth are one of the most vulnerable and academically at-risk student groups in our community, and the Optimist Youth Homes & Family Services has been making an impact in that very community for years. There’s still much work to be done, but I’m confident this investment will work to give these children, young adults, and families the educational support they need to succeed.”

Educational attainment for youth in foster care is adversely impacted by disrupted schooling, with more than a third of 17- to 18-year-old foster youth experiencing five or more school changes. Only 64% of youth in foster care complete high school or earn a GED by age 18, compared to 87% for all youth, and less than 11% go on to earn a college degree, compared to the 62% national college completion rate.

Children in foster care also show lower academic test scores as early as elementary school, making it difficult to close the achievement gap between them and their non-foster care peers.

“We are incredibly grateful for the increased funding, at the recommendation of Rep. Garcia, allowing us to expand the critical services we provide to at-risk youth in the Antelope Valley,” said Todd Sosna, Ph.D., CEO of Optimist Youth Homes & Family Services. “This will accelerate our ongoing efforts to serve more foster youth through educational advocacy, coordination with teachers, support to caregivers, and tutoring of children in order to promote long-term educational success.”

About Optimist Youth Homes and Family Service

Founded in 1906, Optimist Youth Homes and Family Services’ mission is to support children/youth, and their families, in and at risk of foster care, to build hope and achieve bright futures through wellness, education, relationships, and career-focused services and resources. Our view is that foster youth are not defined by what has happened to them; they are only limited by access to the support and resources needed to achieve their dreams.

For over a century, OYHFS has stood as a stalwart of the community, often taking the first step towards innovative solutions for children and families in LA County. The organization has dedicated itself to adapting to the ever-changing needs of foster youth and families while contributing to the broader conversations influencing change in the field and operates five locations throughout L.A. County. Optimist continues to be nimble and responsive to the emergent challenges and needs of children and families in our programs and dedicated to cultivating a supportive community environment for the youth in our care.

Nerissa A Silao
NRS Public Relations
+1 310-874-9230
email us here

Article originally published on www.einpresswire.com as OPTIMIST YOUTH HOMES & FAMILY SERVICES RECEIVES $270,000 IN FEDERAL FUNDING

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