How We Support Youth in Foster Care

Youth in foster care are amazing people and we love supporting them on their path to education after high school. All students need financial and emotional support when thinking about the next steps in life, and we offer guidance and funding to help these special students achieve their education dreams.

Reach Higher Montana Summit

Reach Higher Montana will be holding the seventeenth annual Summit for Youth in Foster Care virtually again this year! Like last year, this will allow the Summit to engage a larger population of students through both pre-recorded and live virtual sessions. This year, the live virtual sessions will be held the week of June 14, 2021 and the pre-recorded sessions will be available at the beginning of June 2021.

The 2021 Summit will feature pre-recorded videos about apprenticeships, banking and how to effectively manage your money, TRiO Student Support Services, and much more. You’ll also be able to watch sessions from keynote speakers, FosterClub, Reach Higher Montana, and the DPHHS Youth Advisory Board. The videos and speakers will help to inform foster youth about post-secondary education opportunities and other alternatives to college, along with life skills and knowing your rights in foster care.

To view last year’s sessions, click here​​​​​​​. You’re welcome to explore the pre-recorded sessions at your own pace. Feel free to spend time watching the videos, finding resources, and learning more about what your future may hold.

For more information about the 2021 Summit, contact Programs Manager Rhonda Safford at (406)-422-1275 x800 or rsafford@ReachHigherMontana.org.

Career Exploration Training

Our Advisors will host six training sessions across Montana to help foster youth explore available education or workforce opportunities after high school using the Montana Career Information System (MCIS). These sessions will be interactive and may include a campus tour depending on the location. Students at each location will be eligible to win a laptop. 

RHM Summit Attendee, Chris, Plans to be a Lawyer
RHM Summit Attendee, Chris, Plans to be a Lawyer

Chris shares his plan for college and how the Summit helped pay for his tuition.

Foster Care Education and Training Voucher Program

Montana foster care youth are eligible to apply for the Foster Care Educational Training Voucher (ETV) program, which provides eligible youth with up to $5,000 per year to pay for educational expenses. 

Who qualifies? Students Who Are:

  • Currently in foster care and likely to age out of the foster care system; or
  • Aged out of the foster care system; or
  • Adopted or placed into guardianship from foster care after reaching age 16, or
  • Have been under tribal court jurisdiction and meet the above eligibility criteria.

Download the ETV application

The priority deadlines for the program are December 15 for students planning on attending spring and summer courses, and July 1 for fall courses or the full school year.

College Check In

Our Advisors will check in with ETV recipients at local colleges several times throughout the school year to see how they are doing and to help them navigate college. They will connect with students either by text, phone call, or in-person in hopes to increase the retention of our ETV recipients.

For more information about our programs, contact Rhonda Safford at (406) 422-1275 x 800 or rsafford@ReachHigherMontana.org

Resources

Foster Care to College - Online Guide to Resources and Support