This page includes resources, information, and links to help support you and your family. If you have additional questions or would like to speak with a member of our team, please give us a call at 800-762-8063.
Are you or do you know of a young adult in care (or who previously spent time in care) who will be starting their senior year of high school in the fall?
Have they received or planned for their senior pictures yet?
Senior pictures are important to all youth! Unfortunately, youth in out-of-home care are not always able to enjoy this experience with their friends and classmates. This program pairs volunteer professional photographers with youth in care who will be graduating and who would otherwise not be able to have senior pictures taken.
Who Qualifies for the Volunteer Photography Program?
Youth who are currently in an out-of-home care placement or who previously spent time in an out-of-home care placement and who are scheduled to graduate from high school.
How to Participate:
- Complete the Senior Picture Program Application Form.
- Send the form to our team.
- Upon receipt, we will contact a volunteer photographer in the county of residence. There are times when we do not have a photographer in the county where the youth is living. In that case, we will follow up with the worker or foster parent to see if travel to a neighboring county is an option.
- We will provide the worker or foster parent with the contact information for the volunteer photographer.
- The worker or foster parent (or other responsible, designated adult) is responsible for contacting the volunteer photographer to schedule the photographer’s appointment. (We encourage you to review our Guide Sheet.)
- The foster parent or designated adult will discuss with the photographer before the photo session what the photographer is willing to donate (e.g., the session only with digital files, session and a disc of images, session, and prints). It is the responsibility of the foster parent or designated adult to clarify with the photographer what he or she will be receiving after the photo session, as well as clarify how the youth’s school will receive a copy of the photo.
- We require the designated adult to remain with the youth participant throughout the entire photography appointment.
- We would recommend that the participating youth send a thank you card or note to the photographer whenever possible.
- Foster Club’s mission is to provide encouragement, motivation, information, education, and benefits for foster youth.
- The Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative is a national foundation whose mission is to help youth in foster care make successful transitions to adulthood.
- Foster Care Alumni of America is a national nonprofit organization transforming the lives of children, youth, and adults who share the foster care experience by connecting us into a well-supported and organized community.
- The Mocking Bird Society is committed to advocacy, public education, and system reform on behalf of the thousands of children and adolescents involved in the Child Welfare System.
- The Wisconsin Challenge Academy is an alternative education program designed to reclaim the lives of at-risk youth and produce graduates with the values, skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to succeed as adults.
We know the costs of continuing your education are always increasing. On this page, we have pulled together a variety of resources and sources that we hope you will find helpful as you search for resources to ease the financial burden of higher education.
Scholarships and Financial Aid for Youth Who Were or Are in Care
- Brighter Star: Flexible funding for youth formerly in out-of-home care to help them reach their goals.
- The Fostering Adoption to Further Student Achievement Act became law as an amendment to the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (Public Law 110-84). This law includes a revised definition of an “independent student.” The revised definition of “independent student” extends to youth who were in foster care on or after their 13th birthday, even if they have subsequently been adopted.
- Foster Care to Success: America’s Fund for Foster Youth (Formerly OFA). This program offers scholarships for academic or vocational training beyond high school for foster and former foster youths throughout the United States.
- Foster Youth to College: Opening the Doors to College
- National Foster Parent Association Scholarship: The NFPA offers scholarships for foster youth, adopted youth, or biological youth of currently licensed foster parents who wish to further their education beyond high school. Foster parents must also be members of the NFPA.
- Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Youth Services Paying for College
- Wisconsin DCFS Scholarship Application for Youth in Out-of-Home Care: The Department of Children and Family Services awards scholarships of up to $5,000 (renewable from year to year) for youth who have been in out-of-home care and are entering into a degree, license, or certificate program.
Other Scholarship and Financial Aid Opportunities
- Accredited Schools Online has created an easy-to-use, in-depth financial aid guide that provides a wealth of knowledge for those applying for financial aid for online education so that both students and parents can make well-informed, financially conscious decisions about their future. In the guide, you will find various types of loans and scholarships explained, excerpts from financial aid experts, and tips for how to repay loans in a timely fashion with as little interest as possible.
- Center for Native American Youth
- College Affordability Guide
- CourseHero.com offers different opportunities, including scholarships for veterans, first-generation college students, and community volunteers.
- Fastweb.com and Scholarships.com help students of all ages and backgrounds find the money for college.
- Harvard Free Tuition for Low-Income Students: To find out more about Harvard offering free tuition for families making less than $40,000 a year, visit Harvard’s financial aid website.
- The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is the nation’s leading organization supporting Hispanic higher education. HSF was founded in 1975 with a vision to strengthen the country by advancing college education among Hispanic Americans – the largest minority segment of the U.S. population.
- Historically Black College & University Scholarships
- Kids Matter Inc. has additional information and resources about financial aid and scholarships.
- Mapping Your Future is a national, collaborative, public service project of the financial aid industry – bringing together the expertise of the industry to provide free college, career, financial aid, and financial literacy services for students, families, and schools.
- Scholarship America has awarded more than one billion dollars to more than one million students.
- Talent Incentive Program provides assistance to needy students attending colleges and universities in Wisconsin. For more information, contact the Department of Public Instruction at 608-261-1057.
- The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund was established in 1987 to carry on Justice Marshall’s legacy of equal access to higher education by supporting exceptional merit scholars attending America’s Public Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
- United Negro College Fund: Since 1985, the UNCF Scholarships and Grants Administration office has awarded scholarship assistance of over $105 million to over 28,000 students enrolled in its 39 member colleges and universities and other HBCUs and majority institutions as well. We provide support in numerous ways to a variety of constituencies.
- Youth Services Paying for College
Other Higher Education Information
- ACT is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides more than a hundred assessment, research, information, and program management services in the broad areas of education and workforce development. ACT helps people achieve education and workplace success.
- Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, ensures that all eligible individuals can benefit from federally funded or federally guaranteed financial assistance for education beyond high school. We consistently champion the promise of postsecondary education to all Americans—and its value to our society.
- FAFSA Tips for Applicants in Unique Situations: The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) developed a tip sheet to help federal student aid applicants in unique situations tackle tricky questions on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The tip sheet provides FAFSA tips for:
- Single parents
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) recipients
- Wards of the court
- Foster youth
- State of Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board
- Information on the Wisconsin Educational Opportunity Program (WEOP) in your area for youth beginning in middle school through high school to get them thinking about post-secondary education, whether at technical school or four-year institutions.
- Wisconsin Students Go 2 College (WSG2C) is the name of the Wisconsin-based American College Application Campaign.
- Wisconsin Tribal Colleges. Wisconsin is home to the College of the Menominee Nation and Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College.
One of the most unique organizations for youth in Wisconsin is the Wisconsin Youth Advisory Council. Their mission is to inspire change by providing education, advocacy, support, training, and awareness to governmental systems and the general public to better the image of youth by addressing the issues on behalf of current and former youth in foster care in Wisconsin. Please visit their Facebook page to learn more about the Wisconsin Youth Advisory Council.
- Advocates for Healthy Transitional Living provide daytime respite, behavioral assessment and support, independent living skills, and career skills-building services for youth with serious mental health or behavioral challenges. Advocates’ private schools partner with area school districts to specifically address behavioral challenges while following a student’s IEP goals to stay on track academically. This is done in the student’s school or at one of Advocates sites. Advocates also provide family engagement services for youth and their caregivers, translating the skills and supports learned in programming to the home or community environment. Referrals for services can be made online here: https://advocateswi.com/submit-a-referral
- The Alliance for Youth: America’s Promise is the nation’s leading voice for young people. Through partnerships with government, nonprofits, businesses, and communities, America’s Promise works together to ensure that all children have five essential resources: caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, effective education, and support to help others.
- Casey Life Skills provides free and easy-to-use tools to help young people prepare for adulthood.
- Girls Incorporated is a national nonprofit youth organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. With roots dating back to 1864, Girls Inc. has provided vital educational programs to millions of American girls, particularly those in high-risk, under-served areas. Today, innovative programs help girls confront subtle societal messages about their value and potential and prepare them to lead successful, independent, and fulfilling lives.
- imi.guide is a digital, research-backed mental health tool that youth can use on their own. It was developed by Hopelab, in partnership with CenterLink and the It Gets Better Project. imi.guide supports and helps LGBTQ+ teens explore and affirm their identity and learn practical ways to cope with sexual and gender minority stress that are helpful, relevant, inclusive, and joyful. This is done through supportive and affirming resources, activities, and stories from LGBTQ+ youth in 4 areas of interest and need: minority stress, queerness and LGBTQ+ identity, internalized stigma, and gender identity and expression.
- Junior Achievement is a movement that seeks to educate and inspire young people to value free enterprise, business, and economics to improve the quality of their lives.
- National Network for Youth champions the needs of runaway, homeless, and other disconnected youth through advocacy, innovation, and services – one community at a time.
- The National Youth Leadership Council increases the capacity of schools and communities to engage young people in learning and service.
- Project Q is the Youth Program of the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center. Project Q provides a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth and their straight allies ages 24 and under.
- The Strategic Sharing Booklet from Casey.org is a great guide for those involved in foster care. You may have opportunities to share your life story with others in order to educate and influence them. Whether you are a person in or from foster care, a care provider, a professional, or an interested community member, you’ve lived a story of your own.
- Since 1990, YouthBuild USA has guided the development of an expanding national network of more than 225 local YouthBuild programs.
- Youth Communication helps teenagers develop their skills in reading, writing, thinking, and reflection, so they can acquire the information they need to make thoughtful choices about their lives.
- Youth Leadership Opportunities in Wisconsin
- The mission of the Youth Volunteer Corps of America is to create and increase volunteer opportunities to enrich America’s youth, address community needs and develop a lifetime commitment to service.