Sunday, July 06, 2008

Praise for Glenn DuBois, chancellor of the Virginia Community College

As a former foster child, I am writing this blog entry to celebrate the efforts of one man, who is using his personal summer vacation time bicycling to seven Virginia community colleges, in order to raise funding and awareness for a program to benefit young people in foster care.

Glenn DuBois, chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, knows and cares about the challenges facing the 8,000 young people in his state's foster care system, and the more than 500 teenagers who age out of foster care in Virginia each year, with nowhere to go.

He cares that, even though grants and tuition assistance are available, not enough young people are made aware of these resources.

He knows that less than 5 percent of young people over the age of 18 are willing to remain in state custody.

He understands their desire to provide for themselves and be independent, despite the fact that, "If they would only stay in foster care status - for independent living, federal money kicks in, state money kicks in.... But it's all pretty much left on the table."

In response, the Virginia Community College has launched the Great Initiatives, a transitional education program for teenagers in the foster care system between the ages of 13 - 17 years old.

The specific goals of this program are:
- Help youth complete high school and transition into higher education
- Increase awareness about the value of a community college education
- Increase enrollment in Independent Living Programs
- Increase the number of foster youth who gain employment in desirable jobs
- Pilot after school programs at all community colleges for foster care youth

What sparked DuBois' passion? His past experience as a social worker, years ago, working with foster-care youth shortly after he finished graduate school.

To learn more, please visit this link.

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You can also learn more about the Great Expectations program by visiting its website at

Passion and philanthropy are really driving this worthy project. Get involved, even if it is simply a matter of just signing up for the newsletter.
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