WHAT WE DO
With the help of donors, volunteers, and interdisciplinary researchers, Champions Empowering Champions can provide a comprehensive program to benefit the lives of foster youth attending college.
Academic research shows that former foster youth do not have an economic safety net or adequate resources to meet their basic needs. Support for unfunded living and academic essentials reduces economic stress on Student Champions and affords them the opportunity to focus on academic rigors, successfully earn a college degree, and transition into adulthood.
Student Champions are college students who have experienced foster care or homelessness. These students have overcome tremendous adversity, defied insurmountable odds, and demonstrated tenacity and resilience. Unfortunately, Student Champions frequently lack a support system for navigating the challenges and celebrating the successes that come with entering college and transitioning into adulthood.
A vital element of our multidisciplinary research influenced program involves the development of a lifelong support network for our Student Champions. We have attracted successful professionals from the local community to serve as Volunteer Champions. The Volunteer Champions empower and support Student Champions as they overcome academic, professional, and personal challenges. They are enthusiastic supporters, relentless advocates, and active participants in the success of Student Champions.
The lifelong support network for Student Champions also includes fellow students and volunteers that are organized into support Squads. Our development of support Squads, organizes informal groups of individuals with a common identity and a sense of solidarity to improve Student Champion engagement and comfort with familiar individuals that will remain intact from freshman year through graduation and beyond.
Student Champions participate in community service efforts focused on youth who are homeless or in foster care. This work provides Student Champions with a sense of accomplishment and gives them opportunities to serve as role models. Through their service, they begin to help shape the future of the next generation of college-aged students, transforming participants into active citizens who contribute to their communities.
Our team of Volunteer Champions also lead educational and team-building workshops for our Student Champions to develop essential academic, professional, and life skills. Workshops cover topics such as time management, stress management, goal setting, financial literacy, healthy lifestyles, independent living skills, and professional development.