Young Adults (20-25 years)
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
By investing in their lives, Forward Steps empowers former foster youth so they can reach their full potential as independent, healthy and contributing members of their communities. Our organization's program fills a critical gap and helps ensure post-secondary education success by providing financial assistance, mentorship, monthly life-skills training and individualized coaching to youth transitioning out of the foster care system.
Applicants who are accepted into the Forward Steps program receive: (1) financial assistance of up to $6,000 per year that fills crucial gaps not addressed by federal funding, (2) College Boot Camp which is designed to prepare students for college, (3) monthly workshops that cover a broad range of essential life skills, and (4) one-on-one mentoring.
The Forward Steps scholarship is offered to Colorado residents attending college in Colorado. In addition to associate and bachelor degrees, the program is also available to students enrolled in certificate and vocational programs.
To be eligible for the program, youth must reside in Colorado and be between the ages of 17-26. To maintain the full amount of financial support, program participants are required to maintain: 2.0 Grade Point Average and successfully complete all credit hours agreed upon.
Forward Steps is the only Colorado-based nonprofit organization focused solely on former foster youth and post-secondary education success by addressing both financial and emotional needs. Each element of our program is designed to help students overcome barriers and realize their dreams. By investing in their lives, Forward Steps empowers former foster youth so they can reach their full potential as independent, healthy and contributing members of their communities.
Our goal is to positively influence the lives of former foster youth by encouraging self-sufficiency through education. Studies show that 70% of foster youth aspire to go to college, but only 15% enroll and less than 3% graduate with a degree. With an average of six home placements during childhood and over half experiencing seven or more school changes, youth emerge from the system unprepared to build independent and stable lives as adults.
Without intervention, this population faces disproportionately higher rates of dependence on public assistance, unemployment, incarceration, substance abuse, pregnancy and homelessness. Forward Steps provides comprehensive support services aimed at alleviating the economic, social and emotional barriers experienced by former foster youth following emancipation. Forward Steps' current service delivery model and program structure are based on the innovative Guardian Scholars Program.