FIU's Fostering Panther Pride (FPP) program offers tailored academic and other support services to undergraduate students identified as former foster youth or homeless.
Launched in 2013, the primary goal of FPP is to assist former foster youth and homeless students in their transition to FIU, their retention and graduation, and their pursuit of securing employment or graduate school upon receiving their Bachelor’s degree.
For the Fall 2016 semester, the program served more than 135 identified Foster Care and/or Homeless students.
FPP Tailored Academic & Support Services
- Processing DCF or Homeless Waiver.
- Securing housing on or off-campus.
- Navigating University policies/procedures pertaining to admissions, financial aid, registration, housing.
- Referrals to FIU resources (academic advising, tutoring, counseling services, career services, and internships.)
- Linkages to community partners such as Homeless Helpline, Educate Tomorrow, Handy, etc.
- Success Coach: to serve as the contact person to provide students with a support system and help them navigate the university’s resources. The Success Coach will be responsible for organizing customized outreach focused on financial aid, study skills, internships and other services that will assist students in graduating with an FIU degree.
- Mentoring Program: students will be assigned a trained mentor to help guide them through their undergraduate journey.
- Research: FFP will help FIU faculty identify best practices to assist the population of homeless and foster care youth, producing a replicable model for other communities.
FIU is one of a growing number of universities and colleges in the country working to create a more holistic solution, built around addressing all of a student’s needs, whether academic, physical, emotional or mental. Some have suffered abuse or neglect and bounced from one foster home to another; others have suffered the loss of a parent, landing them in state custody or, if they are 18 or older, on their own.
In any given semester at FIU, there are dozens of students with similar stories – living on the streets, in cars or shelters, or abandoned by those who were supposed to protect and care for them.
Supporting Our Panthers
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