Behind the Scenes of the FosterEd Program


Gabriel Davidson, Reporter

Out of everyone who goes to Sahuaro, who’s most likely to graduate? You’ll probably answer along the lines of the “privileged kids,” with students’ likeliness to graduate decreasing as you factor in learning disabilities and socioeconomic status, but who’s at the very bottom? The reality is the lowest performers, statistically, are students in foster care. FosterEd seeks to cooperate with these students to help find “what success looks like for them.”

Here at Sahuaro, Jennifer, Jacki, and Jennie (who call themselves the J’s) work with students who find themselves in foster care, helping them navigate through high school. Being just on the edge of any official institution, and working within but not for them, FosterEd is capable of steering clear of bureaucracy that might otherwise weigh down their ability to cooperate effectively with students who need a hand the most.

While schools, teachers, counselors, and even caretakers may change, FosterEd moves with those they support across Tucson. Being able to serve as a constant people for students, FosterEd helps in building self-confidence and self-advocacy, which is even more of a necessity for foster youth, who meet with a plentitude of adults responsible for their wellbeing, far more than the average student. Among other tasks, FosterEd helps track down transcripts for youth who move schools often, again showing their dedication to the students they work for.

Though the system works well as it is, FosterEd, as with much of education itself, struggles with issues of manpower and time constraints, which necessitates careful coordination with school staff and students. Teachers and FosterEd work closely together to tend to the specific needs of foster students, offering them leeway for assignments and other considerations privileged students need not worry about.

FosterEd is not an obligation and very much seeks to work for the student rather than dictate them around. “Youth are [our] actual boss” is the unofficial mantra of FosterEd, seeking out kids likely in foster care and offering the student their services, but the decision ultimately lies with the student.  Anyone who wants more information can find them in the Admin building basement.