As we all know, access to higher education and obtaining a college degree is invaluable. College graduates not only have a “higher earning potential, but they also have a greater sense of job satisfaction, greater job stability, and better physical health”
Yet, according to the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth:
Only 12% of homeless and low-income youth AND less than 10% of foster-care youth will attend college and complete a four year degree.
New Avenues for Youth understands the critical link between an education and self-sufficiency and our organization is dedicated to making higher education accessible to Portland’s most vulnerable youth. Through the Alternative School for Homeless Youth and the Avenues to College program, each year New Avenues is helping over 500 youth realize their dreams of a higher education and breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness.
Four years ago, New Avenues for Youth partnered with Marylhurst University and the Joyce N Furman Charitable Trust to create a scholarship program for youth we serve. At last week’s Spirit of Service luncheon, we celebrated our second Joyce N Furman Marylhurst Scholar Graduate Amanda McLean and our 2016 scholarship recipient, Sunteaohna. Both young women are choosing to pursue careers in psychology and counseling, and we are so proud of their efforts to not only succeed in school but give back to others.
In our 19th year we know that education is part of the solution to ending youth homelessness and for the first time in our history, New Avenues Alternative School has moved away from public funding to be privately funded in order to have the flexibility we need to serve youth and have the most meaningful impact possible. We are confident this change will benefit our students and we look forward to continuing to empower youth to achieve their educational goals.
If you’re interested in supporting the New Avenues Alternative School or volunteering as a tutor, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.