SOAR for Youth, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was established in 2009 to provide high quality Support, Opportunities, And Rapport to San Francisco Bay Area foster youth beginning in middle school and continuing through their second year of college. We continue to pursue that mission; today our graduates return to give back and their younger peers are soaring to success.
The SOAR program aims to help our young people graduate from high school, attend college, and succeed in life with purpose. In community partnership with the University of California, Berkeley, Bay Area County Children Services, and community foster youth servicing organizations, SOAR helps foster youth move through adolescence and into their adult lives with confidence and independence. Through a four-year summer residential pre-collegiate program and additional years of sustained support, SOAR teaches, coaches, and counsels our young people in academics, life skills, leadership, emotional intelligence, and career development. We provide challenging, safe, yet fun outdoor experiences that build trust, create teamwork, and enhance self-esteem.
We believe high-quality support starting at middle-school has the most positive influence on foster youth achieving their full potential and becoming independent and productive citizens of society. Early intervention and skill building make all the difference.
Our goals are to:
- Offer opportunities for foster youths to grow in mind, body, and spirit.
- Help foster youths realize their full potential.
- Enable foster youths to contribute and succeed in society.
- Make a difference in the lives of the youths we serve by giving them hope and confidence in their future.
Did You Know?
- There are over 500,000 children in the United States foster care system.
- 1 out of every 5 of our nation’s foster children lives in California.
- 3 out of every 10 of our nation’s homeless are former foster youth.
- 70% of foster youth dream of going to college. Only 3% actually make it.
- 83% of children in foster care are held back in school by third grade and 75% are working below grade level.
- 35% of foster youth have experienced four or more school changes and each move results in a six-month loss of educational progress.
- 51% of former foster youth are unemployed at age 22.