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

Due to the effects of COVID-19, this year’s Summit will be an all virtual event. Although the students will not be able to meet in person this year, the Summit will be able to engage a larger population of students in foster care through pre-recorded sessions and virtual live sessions.

Reach Higher Montana is working on providing links to virtual Montana college campus tours to give students an outlook on college life. Along with the sessions from MelRo and Foster Club, Reach Higher Montana and the DPHHS will be featuring speakers who will discuss a variety of topics, ranging from cosmetology school, law enforcement, military, culinary school, industrial technology, and more. These speakers will help to inform foster youth of post-secondary education opportunities and other alternatives to college.

The Summit is tentatively scheduled for Monday, August 3. Please check back for updates.

For more information about the Summit, contact Programs Manager Rhonda Safford at (406) 422-1275 x 800 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, Jazmyn, Shares her Story
RHM Summit Attendee, Jazmyn, Shares her Story

Listen to Jazmyn's story and find out why the Summit sparked a fire in her.

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.