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This version of NSU News has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of NSU News, visit news.nova.edu.

This version of SharkBytes has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of SharkBytes, visit sharkbytes.nova.edu.

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Contact

Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

nova.edu/prmc

SharkBytes Archives

Contact

Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

(954) 262-5353
(800) 541-6682 x25353
Fax: (954) 262-3954
communications@nova.edu

Kids@Home Life Coach Helps Former Foster Teen Win Four Year Scholarship

South Florida — At 17 “Mimi”, suddenly found herself part of the state foster care system, working through difficult family issues and juggling her senior year studies while trying to plan for her future.

At age 18 the state support system ended almost as suddenly as it began for Mimi. Having been in the system for less than six months, she no longer qualified for any state assistance. 

Like many young adults who at 18 ‘age out” of the foster care system, Mimi found a safety net in the form of Kids@Home, an organization dedicated to helping foster youth learn and grow as they prepare to transition from foster care at age 18 into the world.

Kids@Home, (along with Turtle Nest Village, also located in Palm Beach County), provides a continuum of care for foster teens and emancipated foster youth. The organization arranged for housing and assigned Mimi to a life coach for counseling and support. Thanks to 100 percent funding from Children’s Services Council of Broward, Mimi became part of the Kids@Home “Future Prep Program”.

Social worker Shanna Fried was just two days into her new job as a Life Coach for the Boca Raton-based Kids@Home organization when she noticed a scholarship opportunity listed on a United Way circular.

The scholarship, established by Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Fischler School of Education and Human Services (FSEHS) was created to provide an undergraduate transitioning youth with the cost of tuition for undergraduate studies with the School of Education.

In her caseload of 15 teens and young adults, Shanna thought Mimi was a good fit based on the eligibility qualifications and expectations.

“She had good grades, she was a motivated, dedicated good student,” recalled Shanna. “Mimi had the potential and we were going to make the effort to make this happen for her.”

For Mimi, who had hoped to one day attend the local community college, a four year $70,000 scholarship to NSU was never an option—until now.

The golden ring suddenly was well within reach.

Shanna and Mimi worked together on the application and then held their breath.

Mimi, who now lives in nearby Plantation, was accepted to the undergraduate program and began her studies this fall at NSU with the ultimate goal of becoming an elementary school teacher.

“I had never expected something like this to happen to me,” she said. “This is so cool. The teachers are great and things look so different today than they did just a few months ago.”

Awarded for the first time last year, the Nova Southeastern University Transitional Independent Living Undergraduate Scholarship was created through and is supported by the collaborative efforts of the United Way of Broward County, The Junior League of Fort Lauderdale and the NSU Fischler School of Education and Human Services.

Elizabeth Wynter of United Way pitched the scholarship idea to Kim Durham, Psy.D, executive dean for Administration and Human Services at FSEHS and H. Wells Singleton, Ph.D., education provost and university dean of FSEHS. The idea became a reality, offering an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for former foster teens to get a quality university level education.

Thanks to the Legacy Project administered by the Junior League of Fort Lauderdale, information regarding this and similar scholarships and many other programs available to transitioning foster youths will be housed in the TIL Resource Center. The center, according to TIL Resource Director Kristen Guerrise, is a convenient one stop location where youth from the dependency system can access the services and supports needed to assure their successful transition into adulthood.

Media Contact:
John Bell, Kids@Home
954-970-3394, prseitz@bellsouth.net

Felecia Henderson, NSU Office of Public Affairs
954-262-5315, fhenders@nova.edu