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Youth in Transitional Living Program Learn what College has to Offer

November 18, 2011

Youth in the transitional living program recently toured Middle Tennessee State University and learned about the school’s Next Step Program, which supports entering students who were in foster care.

Middle Tennessee youth in the transitional living program visited Middle Tennessee State University earlier this year for a campus tour and to learn more about the university’s Next Step program.

Attending college is a life-changing event, and Next Step eases the transition from foster care to more independent college life. MTSU, in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and the Tennessee Youth Advisory Council, created the program where student mentors assist incoming students with admissions, financial aid, housing, academic advising and student support.

These mentors are part of the Next Step program and come from foster care or similar situations. Many of the youth participating in the tour plan to attend MTSU, and were able to meet with school officials to learn more about class scheduling, admissions and housing.

“This complements what the TL program is doing with our young adults,” said Joanna Dixon, Youth Villages Middle Tennessee education/vocation coordinator. “This is a great service for our youth. Entering college is a great time, but it’s also intimidating.

“It’s critical for our young adults to have that extension of support when they need it.”

Youth Villages has 150 youth in the TL program in Middle Tennessee. Of that, 59 are employed and 40 are in college or pursuing post-secondary education.

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