Avenues to College

Did you know that only 10% of foster youth will attend college? And did you know that of that 10%, only 3% will graduate? We want youth to be able to change that and Avenues to College can help!

A Portland Children’s Levy-funded program, Avenues to College has partnered with Portland Leadership Foundation, College Housing Northwest, PCC Future Connect, and Alternative Pathways to offer a college assistance program. This program is designed to support and encourage current and former foster youth to thrive in higher education. We achieve this through housing assistance, budgeting guidance with scholarship money, and academic and life skills advising.

Avenues to College provides college prep workshops throughout the Portland-metro area for youth in care. Workshop topics include goal planning, college readiness, and how to pay for college. Youth who attend at least one workshop are invited to apply for our Leadership Development cohort. Students who are chosen for our Leadership Development cohort participate in weekly Leadership Development workshops from June until September.  Students will have access to an apartment with College Housing Northwest and will be expected to attend a Leadership Development workshop once a month and meet with Avenues to College staff a minimum of two times per month during the school year. Avenues to College staff will help students stay on track with their current workload and budget while helping them plan for the future. Staff will work with PCC and College Housing Northwest to provide housing, budget support money, and academic and financial advising as needed.

If you are a youth in care and would like to attend one of the workshops – or – if you are a member of the community and would like to have Avenues to College provide a workshop for students that you work with, please contact our College Recruitment Specialist at 971-901-8576 or avenuestocollege@newavenues.org


To be eligible youth should:
• Have a current or family of origin address within the City of Portland
• Be a current or former foster youth
• Have graduated from high school/GED or be on track to graduate in June 2017 OR be a current Portland Community College student
• Be between 17-21 years old
• Attend at least one workshop with Avenues to College staff
• Have an interest in going to Portland Community College (PCC)


We have an online application process that won’t take long. There are also two essays that are needed, and a few other steps, including an interview with Avenues to College staff if you are chosen.  Applications are due Friday April 14th.



“Avenues to College helped me feel excited and less nervous about going to college.”   IMG_8833 - croppedIMG_8861 - cropped
“If it weren’t for this program I don’t know what I would have done or would be doing right now.”
“I’m so thankful for this program, it helped me so much.”
“So many foster kids are going through hard times and this program helped us so much.”
“Forming a group bond and having support in the group was really great.”



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