Zoe's Blog - Get INSPIRED at the Summit
Reach Higher Montana’s Summit is a three-day event where youth in foster care can find support and education on colleges, adulting, employment, and foster care rights
Reach Higher Montana’s Summit was a three-day event where youth in foster care can find support and education on colleges, adulting, employment, and foster care rights. I had the honor to listen and observe, becoming inspired at how the participants bonded and made each other feel welcome in a difficult setting on Zoom. The amount of participation and learning was astounding. Everyone talked and asked questions as well as engaged in the Kahoot games and lunchtime discussions. There was one informational session that went over patriarchy and racism. As a white teenage girl from Helena, Montana, I don’t always know what those of different races go through, and during the talk on racism, I learned more than I have in my 12 years of schooling.
The foster care system is something that I have recently been looking into. After researching the system, I have come to the conclusion that improvements need to be made. Some of the kids who shared their stories of being in foster care made me realize that more people need to be educated on the system and fight for these kid's rights. I learned about Educational Training Vouchers, which provide eligible youth with up to $5,000 per year for educational expenses. I learned about the different Student Support Systems campuses in Montana have for foster youth. I learned about jobs and how to apply for an apprenticeship. I learned about the Foster Care Policy of Rights and the content within. I learned about Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. The All-Stars, who led this event, told the participants many times that asking for help is okay and that reaching out to a trusted adult is encouraged. They even provided their emails if the participants ever needed support. The amount of knowledge I gained from the Summit event is astounding, and I had so much fun listening to these participants. I will be forever grateful for having this opportunity to learn from them and apply what they taught to my everyday life. I encourage all foster youth to participate in the Summit event, not only to gain knowledge on education but also on how to advocate for foster care rights. Check ReachHigherMontana.org in March to find out how to find out how to apply. Updates and reminders will be posted on our Instagram and Facebook, and make sure to sign up for the newsletter!
Reach Higher Montana is passionate about helping Montana high school students achieve personal success in education, career, and life. Our advisors can help guide you along your individual path. To find the closest advisor to you, click here. Stay informed, sign up for our newsletter and like our Facebook and Instagram page so you don’t miss out.