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First Star improves the lives of America’s abused and neglected children by strengthening their rights, illuminating systemic failures and igniting necessary reforms. We pursue our mission through research, public engagement, policy advocacy, education direct services and litigation.
The goal of our newest and boldest program, the First Star Academies, is to leverage the academic knowledge, life skills and community at major universities as a ladder for overcoming the life risks associated with foster care. First Star and the University house, educate, and encourage foster youth on the University’s campus each summer of grades 9 through 12, and we bring them back non-residentially one day of each month in the same grades. Peer Counselors are ex-foster youth, now undergraduate or graduate students. The entire purpose is to prepare 14 to 18 year olds intellectually and psycho-socially for college, to help them believe it is possible, and enable them to work vigorously toward it. Seven of these Academies are running now (UCLA, UConn, URI, GW, Loyola Chicago, UCF, Rowan NJ) and Pepperdine will launch next year.
First Star is a national 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to improving the lives of America's abused and neglected children. First Star works to change the child welfare system from one of abuse and neglect to one of protection and support. First Star's nonpartisan, multidisciplinary approach fosters collaborative action among organizations, advocates, practitioners and policy-makers working to benefit children.