Forward Steps Foundation

Forward Steps fills an important gap that helps ensure post-secondary education success by providing financial assistance, mentorship, life-skills training and individualized coaching to former foster youth.

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Forward Steps Program




Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Young Adults (20-25 years)
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
At-Risk Populations


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.

Forward Steps' Guardian Scholars Program assists youth through:
(1) Financial assistance for college to meet crucial gaps not addressed by federal funding
(2) Workshops that provide unique experiences and teach a broad range of essential life skills 
(3) One-to-one mentoring with Scholar Mentors
(4) Expert career guidance 

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.

The Forward Steps Guardian Scholar Program is now available on 10 college campuses along the Front Range including: 

University of Northern Colorado - University of Colorado, Denver - Red Rocks Community College - Metropolitan State University -  Front Range Community College's Longmont & Westminster Campuses -   Emily Griffith Technical College - Colorado State University - Community College of Denver - Arapahoe Community College 

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.


Evidence of Program's Success

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.

Studies show that 70% of foster youth aspire to go to college, but only 15% enroll and less than 3% graduate with a degree. 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.

At least 20 scholars will be participating in the spring 2020 semester. Forward Steps' goal is to provide assistance to every eligible applicant and make the program accessible throughout all of Colorado. 

As Racheal, a Forward Steps scholar who will be earning her Bachelors Degree in December stated:
"My road here was full of ups, downs, crisis, tears, pride, disappointment and everything in between. What remained consistent throughout this journey has been Forward Steps. I couldn't have gotten to this point in my life without the support of my Forward Steps family."

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.