What does it mean to "Age Out?" At the age of 18, foster kids are removed from the system (age-out) and sent out into the "real world." After being expelled from the system that served as their surrogate family, these new adults are suddenly faced with an uncertain future. Loneliness and despair often ensue due to their not being prepared to make it on their own. This is in stark contrast to students that grow up in traditional families. They enjoy the support of their family as they transition into being on their own during the college years. Not so for "aged-out" foster care students.
The International Student Foundation (ISF) is an organization committed to changing lives through education, mentoring and leadership training. Its mission is to transform orphaned or former foster care students into tomorrow's leaders by providing leadership mentoring as well as tuition assistance through scholarships during the recipient's college journey.
The ISF Team is dedicated to making a difference in the life of each student sponsored. Recipients of an ISF scholarship not only receive tuition assistance to the college of their choice, but they also receive personal mentoring and leadership training. When assigned a mentor, each student recipient receives a commitment of time and attention devoted purely to their individual growth and leadership development.
ISF has only been in existence for 10 years, but their early efforts are bearing fruit. Read about Jeremy, Misty, Thomas, and many others who are ISF success stories. Believing that every student that ISF mentors becomes a dot of light in their community, by 2020, ISF hopes to have 1,000 dots of light pushing back the darkness in communities all around the world.
Our head of Marketing, Wendi McGowan, nominated International Student Foundation this month after hearing about the organization in April. “I was at a professional business event and Courtney Carroll, the ISF Executive Director, was also in attendance," says Wendi. "We all had a few moments to speak to the group and introduce ourselves, and after Courtney spoke, not only was I extremely grateful for parents and my solid childhood, I was overwhelmed with an urge to encourage and help support this extremely worthy cause."